Fire damages Augusta apartment building, displaces tenants

Posted Jan. 30, 2013, at 4:09 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A dozen people were left homeless after a fire at a four-unit apartment building on Tuesday afternoon, according to a fire official.

Augusta Deputy Chief Dave Groder said Wednesday it took crews from four departments two hours to control the blaze at 1 Penobscot St.

“We saw it when we left our central station,” Groder said.

Tenants were evacuating the building when firefighters arrived on the scene, Groder said. Departments from Togus Medical Center, Winthrop and Gardiner provided mutual aid.

Groder said the fire started on the top floor of the building, and all the tenants managed to get out safely. Firefighters were also able to rescue two animals, a dog and a puppy, from the burning building.

Groder said it’s unclear whether the building will be salvageable. He said the owner has insurance.

“There’s heavy water damage throughout on the third floor,” he said.

Groder added it was a challenge for crews to get to the top floor to extinguish the flames given the heat inside the building.

The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a cause, Groder said. The Red Cross has been called in to assist the displaced tenants.

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