May 21, 2018
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Firefighters from several towns battle Skowhegan camp blaze

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A camp on the Notch Road Extension caught fire Saturday night while the people staying there this weekend had dinner in town, according to Capt. Rick Caldwell of the Skowhegan Fire Department.

The camp was consumed by the fire, despite efforts made by firefighters from several towns to save it.

“Luckily nobody got hurt,” he said Sunday. “Unfortunately, it’s quite a ways from town, and before it was detected, it had really gotten going.”

It took firefighters from his department 15 minutes to get to the camp, which was located on a dirt road.

The fire’s cause was unknown, Caldwell said. An investigator from the state fire marshal’s office came by to investigate Sunday morning.

“It was hard to tell — there was so much devastation,” Caldwell said.

Fire investigators are speculating that it may have begun around the wood stove pipe, but “there’s no way to definitely pin it on that.

“It was not suspicious, that’s for sure,” Caldwell said.

The camp had been purchased this summer by people whose adult grandchildren were using it this weekend. Caldwell did not know the names of the owners, or the precise value of the camp, but said that he believed it was insured.
“They weren’t there at the time the fire started,” he said of the grandchildren. “They had gone into town for supper. They came back to the camp and it was on fire.”

Firefighters from Canaan, Cornville and Madison assisted the Skowhegan Fire Department. Norridgewock firefighters were on standby at the Skowhegan fire station, Caldwell said. Between 16 and 20 firefighters altogether tackled the blaze.

Because so many communities had sent tankers to the scene, firefighters were able to shuttle water from the nearest hydrant to the burning camp, he said.

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