LINCOLN, Maine — Editor and publisher Kevin Tenggren intends to have the next issue of the Lincoln News on the stands and in mailboxes on time next Thursday, he said Friday.
“We plan on it,” Tenggren said from the recently vacated home of the Lincoln Historical Society, a day after a fire destroyed the Lincoln News Print Services building at 78 West Broadway. No one was inside the 1½-story building, and no one was injured fighting the fire, which was reported shortly before 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The burned-out building, which was insured, will be razed as soon as possible.
The empty society office located almost next door at 70 West Broadway represented about the best news Tenggren received on Friday. Just vacated in the society’s move to the former Corro House across the street, the donated space was immediately available and adequate, he said.
News workers took refuge in the house when the News building was destroyed in a fire in 1975, Office Manager Laverne Carll recalled. Back then, it was the home of a previous publisher, she said.
Through the Maine Press Association Web site, Tenggren appealed to newspapers statewide Friday for Macintosh computers, a large-format laser printer and furniture, among other things.
“Anything would be gratefully appreciated,” Tenggren told MPA Online at mainepress.org.
Mike Lange, executive director of MPA, said he sent out an e-mail on Friday to alert the association’s almost 200 members that “a member was in distress.”
“I thought it was important. We have a member in distress and I was hoping that once people learned something was going on, someone would come across with some help,” Lange said. “Hopefully, he will get enough equipment to get another edition out.”
With a circulation of about 6,300 through the Katahdin and Lincoln Lakes regions, the newspaper had just put out its latest edition Wednesday night for mail deliveries Thursday. The newspaper had recently opened an office in Millinocket, but it’s too small for the entire staff, Tenggren said.
As Tenggren started reassembling his weekly newspaper, investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office were disassembling the rear of the News building, with the aid of a backhoe, to see what might have started the fire.
It might be days before a cause is determined, said Sgt. Tim York of the fire marshal’s office.
Tenggren speculated that a faulty heater to the rear of the building might have caused the blaze. The last workers to leave the building, Carll and reporter Chris DeBeck, said they left the building by the front door at about 5:25 p.m. Thursday, seeing no signs of trouble.
Though the Lincoln Fire Department was unable to use its aerial ladder to fight the fire because of mechanical problems, Tenggren said, the building probably would not have been saved.
“That had nothing to do with it,” Tenggren said. “This fire got going long before” that would have made a difference.