Owners of grocery store gutted by fire plan parking lot barbecue

Fire officials and Goose River Grocery owners Kyle and Helen Skinner waited Wednesday morning for an investigator from the Maine fire marshal's office to arrive. The store was gutted Tuesday night in a fire that may have started in the kitchen, according to the Belfast Fire Department.
Abigail Curtis | BDN
Fire officials and Goose River Grocery owners Kyle and Helen Skinner waited Wednesday morning for an investigator from the Maine fire marshal's office to arrive. The store was gutted Tuesday night in a fire that may have started in the kitchen, according to the Belfast Fire Department.
Posted July 30, 2014, at 7:05 a.m.
Last modified July 30, 2014, at 1:14 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Two weeks after a fire gutted the Goose River Grocery on Swan Lake Avenue the owners said they will not be budged from their plan of holding a barbecue over the next two weekends.

Kyle and Helen Skinner will sell pulled pork sandwiches and chicken from the parking lot of the grocery store they bought in April.

“I’m optimistic about getting this cleaned up and moving forward,” Kyle Skinner said Tuesday. “We decided to still have the barbecue. It’s good for us, and hopefully the community to have some normalcy, despite it all.”

The morning after the July 15 nighttime fire, Belfast Fire Chief Jim Richards said it appeared to have started in the kitchen of the grocery store, though he could not be certain. Skinner said he had not yet heard about the official determination of the cause of the fire, and efforts by the BDN Tuesday to contact both the fire department and the Maine state fire marshal’s office were unsuccessful. The building is insured.

“I don’t have any dollar amounts or anything like that about rebuilding,” Skinner said. “We’re doing all right. Of course, we’re sick about it. Life’s got to go on. We just keep going, doing the things we’ve got to do.”

Kyle Skinner said a barbecue master friend of his had been planning to come up from Delaware with his smoker. They will start preparing the food before dawn Saturday, Aug. 2.

“He’s phenomenal,” Skinner said of his friend’s barbecuing abilities. “The big thing is just to get some traffic around to let people know that we’re not going anywhere. We’re not giving up.”

The barbecue will be $10 a plate and will include a couple of side dishes and a drink. There are picnic tables by the Goose River, Skinner said. He’s looking forward to having people come by.

“The store has been around a long time and means a lot to me,” he said.

Barbecue at the Goose River Grocery on Swan Lake Avenue in Belfast will be available beginning at 11 a.m. until the food runs out Saturday, Aug. 2; Sunday, Aug. 3; Friday, Aug. 9; and Saturday, Aug. 10.

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