MASARDIS, Maine — The Masardis Trading Post was completely destroyed late Wednesday evening after a fire gutted the business and an apartment on the second floor.
Masardis Fire Chief Nelson Craig said Thursday that the fire was reported just after 8:40 p.m., but he believes it began much earlier, as the building was fully engulfed when crews from the Masardis and Ashland Fire Departments arrived.
Craig said that owner Kim Gagnon and another individual lived in the apartment above the trading post. They were not home at the time, and no one was injured as a result of the fire.
Craig said the fire may have been caused by a pellet stove in the apartment, as that is where most of the damage from the fire occurred.
He added that an investigator from the state fire marshal’s office was not called in because there was far too much damage to determine a cause.
Eighteen firefighters fought the blaze for more than four hours, with frigid temperatures making the task more difficult, according to Craig.
The fire chief said he is not sure if the owners had insurance.