Fire caused by lightning displaces residents of 24-unit complex in Washburn

Posted Aug. 04, 2013, at 9:46 p.m.

WASHBURN, Maine — A fire at a 24-unit housing complex caused by a lightning strike Sunday displaced all the residents.

Firefighters responded at 12:30 p.m. to the fire at 20 Kim St., which provides housing for elderly and disabled individuals and families. The fire started in the attic in the central portion of the building. Damage was contained to the center portion of the building leaving almost all the apartments with only minor smoke damage, Fire Chief Troy Heald said.

All families have been displaced due to power having to be disconnected, the chief said, but they were able to access their units by late afternoon to gather important items such as medications and pets.

The Red Cross provided support for the displaced residents and the Washburn Trailrunners snowmobile club opened their clubhouse for the tenants. The Washburn School Department provided transportation for the tenants and Country Farms Market provided drinks and snacks.

It was great to see this small community come together to support each other, said Heald.

The building is owned by C. S. Management of Caribou and is insured, said Heald.

The Washburn Fire Department was assisted by units from Caribou, Presque Isle and Mapleton.

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