Fast-moving fire destroys Milo garage

Posted Nov. 18, 2009, at 4:18 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:08 p.m.
A large fire gutted K and L Auto Sales at 38 Elm Street in Milo on Wednesday. Brett Kirschbaum, who took photographs from the rear of the business, reported that an initial explosion was heard about 12:25pm, followed by other explosions. He added that he saw flames shooting 40 feet out of the top of the building. (Photo courtesy of Brett Kirschbaum)
A large fire gutted K and L Auto Sales at 38 Elm Street in Milo on Wednesday. Brett Kirschbaum, who took photographs from the rear of the business, reported that an initial explosion was heard about 12:25pm, followed by other explosions. He added that he saw flames shooting 40 feet out of the top of the building. (Photo courtesy of Brett Kirschbaum)

MILO, Maine — A fast-moving fire on Wednesday destroyed K&L Auto Sales and Service on Elm Street.

Owner Kirk Beard and his father, Wayne Beard, had been working inside the garage on a vehicle at about 12:30 p.m. when they encountered a gas line problem and a fire erupted, according to Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan.

Gahagan said the men attempted to extinguish the blaze but it got out of control. He said there was a loud explosion, which could be heard throughout the downtown. “The building burned fast,” he said as he surveyed the scene.

When gasoline from one of the vehicles ignited, Kirk Beard said he and his father emptied the contents of a fire extinguisher on it and almost had the fire out when the gasoline flared up again. Beard said the pair fled when the building started to fill with smoke. Neither man was injured in the fire.

Kirk Beard and his wife, Lynette, have owned the business for 10 years and have the business insured, he said. Standing on the rim of his parking lot Wednesday, Beard said he expects to rebuild the business.

Two vehicles, equipment and tires inside the old building were destroyed and there may have been some damage to vehicles parked outside, according to Beard. He placed the loss at more than $200,000.

“There was a quick response by the fire departments. They did a great job, but it was just too far involved for them to save it,” Gahagan said. Brownville firefighters assisted the Milo Fire Department at the scene. Dover-Foxcroft firefighters remained on standby.

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