State can’t determine cause of Newport fire

Posted April 05, 2010, at 9:06 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — The cause of a fire that destroyed a local landmark last week “will probably never be known,” according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Sgt. Tim York of the fire marshal’s office said the extensive damage from the fire made it impossible to determine what caused it.

The fire, at the former Bar-L Ranch on Bar-L Hill Road, was reported at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday and kept crews on the scene until after 3 a.m. Friday. The ruins continued to smolder through the day Friday, causing fire crews to return at least twice.

“The origin and cause of the fire are undetermined because of the extent of the damage,” he said. In addition to damage caused by the flames, firefighters summoned an excavator late Thursday to topple exterior walls so they could douse the flames.

Robert Moleon, who owns the building, said Monday that he was planning a sale at the site for Friday and Saturday. The building was full of antiques and other items. Asked what he thought might have caused the blaze, he said he had “no idea whatsoever.”

Moleon said there was electricity and a working heating system in the building.

Witnesses who live near the scene told the Bangor Daily News last week that they thought the fire started in the area of the furnace room.

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