June 24, 2018
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Fire at kelp plant causes minor damage

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

WALDOBORO, Maine — Crews were back to work as usual Thursday after a fire the previous night caused “minor” damage at the North American Kelp plant on Route 32.

The initial call came in at about 7 p.m., according to Waldoboro Fire Chief Paul Smeltzer. When firefighters arrived on the scene, there was smoke in the building and fire in the ceiling near the chimney. They were able to bring the fire under control within about 20 minutes, Smeltzer said.

The fire started as a chimney fire that spread into the ceiling rafters adjacent to the chimney, he said. Although the State Fire Marshal’s Office was notified, Smeltzer said there was nothing suspicious about the fire and state officers would not be investigating the incident.

There was little smoke or water damage to the plant.

Although the fire chief said that fire damage to the plant was moderate, company owner Robert Morse reported the damage did not even match the company’s $1,000 insurance deductible, and that the crew of 10 people were back to work at the facility Thursday morning with no interruption to the operation.

The company harvests and processes sea kelp for use in the agricultural and horticultural industries.

No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters from Waldoboro were assisted at the scene by crews from Jefferson, Nobleboro and Warren.

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