April 20, 2018
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Fort Fairfield fire cause elusive

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Firefighters from 10 departments have spent three days dousing a fire that consumed a warehouse of a company that specializes in forage feed production.

The cause of the fire at Lucerne Farms continues to remain elusive, Fort Fairfield Fire Chief Paul Durepo said Tuesday evening.

Owned by Richard and Susie James, Lucerne Farms grows and processes forage products including alfalfa, timothy and oat hay.

The fire was reported around noon Sunday, Durepo said, and started at the north end of the building where hay was being stored.

The fire spread quickly to the remainder of the warehouse.

“There was 1,000 ton of hay in that area,” said Durepo. “That made the fire much harder to fight.”

Firefighters from Aroostook County and Canada spent eight hours extinguishing the fire Sunday evening, and crews still were on the scene Tuesday evening dousing hot spots.

Durepo said the largest part of the structure was its production area, which firefighters were able to save. A house trailer that serves as an office building also was saved.

Durepo estimated that the owners have had $2 million in losses so far.

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office was on the scene Tuesday, but Durepo said the damage to the warehouse was so extensive that the cause may never be known.

The owners were insured.

Durepo said that firefighters could be on the scene for another few days extinguishing hot spots.

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