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Simultaneous fires at greenhouse in Corinna, home in Dexter keep firefighters busy

Darlene Bagley | BDN
Darlene Bagley | BDN
Snap of the Dragon greenhouse, which was gutted by fire on Friday, March 18, 2011.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

CORINNA, Maine — Local firefighters responding to a blaze in Dexter on Friday night noticed another fire at the Dragon’s Den in Corinna and stopped to extinguish it, business owner Darlene Bagley said Saturday.

“I was calling 911 and they were pulling in,” she said.

The 9 p.m. fire was not actually at the costume business at 12 Robichaud Road, but at the adjacent flower business, Snap of the Dragon.

“It was the 40-foot greenhouse that we lost out back of the store,” Bagley said. “It was fully loaded with plants. I had 150 hanging baskets that were already in bloom.”

Hundreds of trays of fresh flowers were lost, the owner said. The Dragon’s Den opened in 1993, and Bagley opened the flower shop four years ago.

“I plant everything by seed,” she said. “I nurse these puppies along. I don’t know if I’ve got time to plant some more. We’ll do what we can.”

The good news is the flower nursery is fully stocked, Bagley said.

A woodstove was used to heat the greenhouse, the owner said. She said she started a fire at around 5 p.m. and went out at just before 9 p.m. to add more wood and “it was fully engulfed.”

In addition to local firefighters, crews for Newport and Dexter also responded to help extinguish the fire, Dexter Fire Chief Barry Deering said Saturday afternoon. Crews were on the scene until after 10 p.m.

The original fire was at 295 Dover Road in Dexter and came into local fire stations at around 8:55 p.m., Deering said.

“It was pretty crazy for a few minutes,” he said.

Crews from Dexter, Newport, Sangerville and Dover-Foxcroft responded to the trailer fire. The home had an A-frame roof that had caught fire over the kitchen-entrance area, Dexter Assistant Fire Chief Matt Connor said on Saturday. He said thick black smoke could be seen billowing out of the structure when the first fire crews arrived.

The homeowner “had just gone to town to get a steak and cheese” and returned to find his home ablaze, Connor said. The sandwich “was still sitting on his truck when we left.”

Connor, who was not at the fire station when interviewed by phone, said he couldn’t release the homeowner’s name because it was at the station.

The man did lose a dog in the blaze, which appeared to have started in the ceiling of the kitchen area near the front door, he said.

After firefighters began to apply water to the structure fire, a crew member, “broke the wiNdow out and pulled out the kennel but it was too late,” Connor said.

Firefighters were at the house fire until after 11 p.m., he said.

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office are scheduled to arrive Monday or Tuesday to investigate both fires, Connor said.

The fire at the greenhouse in Corinna may have knocked back the start of the spring flower season for the flower business, but it didn’t crush it, Bagley said.

“I’m not going to let me keep this down,” she said.

During the fire, Bagley and some friends were able to save some flowers.

“We rescued about 20 flats off the back” of the burning greenhouse, she said. “I’m going to baby them, cut them back and see what happens.”

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