Apartment building fire in Orono displaces UM students

Posted March 27, 2011, at 8:06 a.m.
Last modified March 27, 2011, at 2:06 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Fire broke out Saturday night at an apartment complex near the University of Maine, displacing several residents. There were no reports of injuries.

Fire crews were called to Stillwater Village Apartments on Centre Drive in Orono at  9:37 p.m. and were at the scene until 12:30 a.m., according to Lt. Scott Luciano. The fire was contained to two apartments, but all 12 units in the complex were evacuated.

More than a dozen University of Maine students were displaced by the fire just six weeks before the end of the spring semester, Joe Carr, spokesman for UMaine, said in a press release issued Sunday.

“Above all, we are thankful no one was injured,” said Robert Dana, the university’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “We are currently focused on making sure that the affected students have everything they need to continue their studies uninterrupted.”

As many as 16 students were affected by the fire, according to Carr. Eight have moved into campus housing and the remaining students made other living arrangements.

Orono police closed down nearby roads for an hour and a half while firefighters from Orono, Old Town, Veazie and Bangor responded.

Fire officials said the fire started on a second floor exterior deck and spread to a third floor unit. No cause was immediately determined. Luciano said investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office are expected  to be at the complex Monday to search for the cause of the fire.

Luciano said Sunday that residents of the 10 undamaged apartments would be able to return once the electrical system, including the fire alarm system, had been restored. The firefighter said he did not know how soon that would be.

In addition to the university, The Salvation Army and the town of Orono are helping the displaced residents with food, shelter and clothing.

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