Boiler room fire damages Millinocket credit union, closes building for several days

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 08, 2014, at 8:44 a.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Two people were briefly hospitalized for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in the boiler room area of Katahdin Federal Credit Union on Wednesday. The fire has forced the business to close temporarily, likely for several days, officials said.

Credit union employee Molly Jamieson and Linwood Roix, a second-floor tenant, were taken to Millinocket Regional Hospital as a precaution after the fire was reported at the 1000 Central St. building, Millinocket Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Malcolm said. A hospital worker said she had no information on the patients’ condition.

Quick response by firefighters helped limit damage to the boiler room and to spaces between the first and second floors, said Malcolm and Timothy Lowell, an investigator from the Maine state fire marshal’s office.

“They did an excellent job,” Lowell said Wednesday.

Until the building reopens, credit union customers can use a temporary workstation at Eastmill Federal Credit Union in East Millinocket or access nearly 160 credit union locations statewide via the Maine Credit Union Shared Branch Network, KFCU President Don Casko said in a prepared statement. That network is affiliated with more than 5,000 locations via the national Credit Union Shared Branch Network, Casko said.

“The credit union will continue to take steps to ensure our members are served and that any inconvenience is minimal. We thank our members for their understanding, and we are grateful no one was seriously injured,” Casko said.

The incident began when workers arrived for work before the bank opened at about 8 a.m. and thought they smelled smoke, Casko said. They were on the Fire Department’s routine-calls telephone line reporting it when fire alarms sounded, triggering an alarm at the station, said Malcolm, who immediately called for mutual aid from East Millinocket Fire Department.

When Millinocket firefighters arrived, they found smoke pouring from the eaves of the building. They doused the bulk of the fire quickly, Malcolm said, and had to chase down some flames that had extended beyond the boiler room area, which Casko said was on the second floor.

Besides the fire damage to the boiler room and area between the first and second floors, smoke and water damage occurred on the second floor and on the first floor office space behind the credit union’s front lobby. No flames got into the attic, Malcolm said.

The lack of apparent damage probably contributed to several customers trying to go into the building after most of the East Millinocket and Millinocket firefighters had left. Lowell and firefighters stopped several from getting into the lobby before putting up “Do Not Cross” tape and having utility vehicles block the parking lots at about 11:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Lowell said.

The building will likely remain closed for several days, Malcolm said. Electricians and other repairmen were already at the scene on Wednesday. Casko thanked the credit unions for agreeing to help fully serve KFCU customers via the emergency partnership.

“We appreciate the cooperative efforts of Eastmill FCU and other credit union partners in providing assistance during this difficult time,” Casko said.

CORRECTION:

A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Linwood Roix’s name as Rioux.

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/08/news/penobscot/firefighters-battling-blaze-at-millinocket-credit-union/ printed on August 1, 2014