‘It shows that we support them': Chamber, friends help Medway fire victims

Posted Oct. 09, 2011, at 2:53 p.m.

MEDWAY, Maine —When Barry Davis needed help moving his Two Rivers Canoe & Tackle shop to a new Medway Road location in August, Richard “Dickie” Day helped. Day and workers at his Day’s Welding & Machine shop fixed heating and plumbing pipes and the garage door at the new store, helping Davis make the transition smoother, Davis said Saturday.

“You get honest work from him,” Davis said of Day. “You never have to worry about him doing it right. He does a lot of things — really, anything you need done, he can pretty much do.”

With Day’s welding shop destroyed in a fire on Oct. 3, Davis and the Katahdin Region Chamber of Commerce held a fundraiser at Two Rivers this weekend to help the Day family.

“It’s really more to show our support for Dick and Jane [Day and his wife] than anything else,” store clerk Jolene DiCentes said of the bake sale. “They have been good to the community for a very long time. What can you do? Obviously [fundraiser money] isn’t going to replace anything they lost, but it shows that we support them.”

Though outwardly a somewhat gruff, taciturn man, and always a sharp businessman, Day’s honesty, directness and compassion have helped many people and organizations, including local churches and schools, through the years in Medway, a small town adjoining East Millinocket, Mattawamkeag and Interstate 95 in northern Penobscot County, they said.

“He just always has the town in mind,” Davis said.

Six paid and volunteer fire departments and a truck from the new Great Northern Paper Co. LLC fought the fire that destroyed the shop and doused the building’s smoldering remains for most of Oct. 3 after the blaze was reported at about 9:30 a.m. No one was injured. The building was partly insured.

Day said the fire appeared to have started at or near a truck he had been welding after he had left it to have coffee and deal with other problems. He said the welds felt cold when he left. Day emptied a fire extinguisher on the truck, he said. An investigator from the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office is probing the fire’s cause.

“He will never replace all of that,” Davis said in reference to the nearly 8,000-square-foot welding shop. “He had stuff in there that you probably can’t even buy today. No one ever has enough insurance to replace everything.”

The Day family’s friends want to assist the family as they can,” Davis said.

“Whatever Dick needs, if he hollers, we will help,” Davis said.

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