Fire destroys potato packing facility in New Sweden

Bouchard Potato Co. was destroyed in a fast moving fire Thursday, April 19, 2012. The fire broke out at around 10 a.m., and officials do not know the cause at this point. No one was injured.
Courtesy of Billy Thibodeau
Bouchard Potato Co. was destroyed in a fast moving fire Thursday, April 19, 2012. The fire broke out at around 10 a.m., and officials do not know the cause at this point. No one was injured.
Posted April 19, 2012, at 6:15 p.m.

NEW SWEDEN, Maine — A potato packing and storage facility was completely destroyed in a fast-moving fire Thursday.

Capt. Mike McCarthy of the Caribou Fire Department said that Bouchard Potato Co. was engulfed in flames shortly after the fire broke out around 10 a.m.

The Station Road structure belongs to Bouchard Farms, according to McCarthy, but he did not have the names of the individual owners.

“From what we heard, there was work going on in the building and the workers left,” he said. “And a short time later a fire was discovered.”

McCarthy said he was not sure how many people were employed at the facility, but that the building contained several pieces of machinery, seed potatoes and other items.

The department requested mutual aid and North Lakes Fire and Rescue Association went to the scene, as did fire departments from Stockholm, Washburn, Presque Isle, Limestone and the Maine Forest Service.

He said that firefighters were on the scene for more than five hours. Crews prevented the fire from spreading into the nearby woods and grass.

“We have called in the state fire marshal’s office, but right now we are not sure how it started,” he said.

The building was insured, according to McCarthy.

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