Lincoln newspaper prepares to rebuild

Posted Nov. 25, 2009, at 9:48 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:09 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Its old building is gone, the foundation will be next to go, and in as little time as three months a new Lincoln News Print Services building could arise from within the footprint of the old, its production manager said Wednesday.

A construction company began knocking down the burned-out structure last weekend and largely finished the job this week as publisher and editor Kevin Tenggren, along with staff members at the popular weekly newspaper, worked on floor plans for the new building, production manager David Whalen said.

“We could be in the new building in three months,” Whalen said Wednesday. “Time will tell.”

Reported at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4, the fire that destroyed the Lincoln News building at 78 West Broadway appeared to have started in the rear of the building, near the newspaper’s presses, and swept rapidly forward to the building’s roof peak and front office before firefighters from four towns could knock it down.

The last people to leave the building at about 5:25 p.m. told investigators that they saw nothing suspicious. No one was in the building when the fire was reported or hurt fighting the flames. The building is insured and insurance company adjusters have finished their work, Whalen said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has logged the fire’s cause as undetermined, with investigators saying that the debris from the fire made establishing its origin impossible.

As a consequence of the fire, the 6,300-circulation Lincoln News is now being printed at the Ellsworth American. It is available on newsstands starting late Wednesday and for home delivery on Friday. The newspaper’s offices are now at 70 West Broadway.

Another consequence of the fire: The new building will be about 700 square feet larger and all of the press and binding equipment will be newer and better than what it replaces, Whalen said.

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