Crews douse fire at former Verso paper mill

Posted March 19, 2017, at 1:26 p.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Firefighters from Bucksport and several surrounding towns extinguished a fire Saturday morning at the former Verso paper mill.

The fire began around 8:20 a.m., while salvage workers were cutting into metal that was part of an exterior wall in the former mill’s thermomechanical pulping area, Capt. Chris Connor of the Bucksport Fire Department said Sunday morning.

The fire then spread to the roof of the building.

Although the former paper mill is being demolished, firefighters were called upon to put the fire out so that the rest of mill can be taken down safely, Conner said.

AIM Development, a subsidiary of Montreal-based scrap metal dealer American Iron & Metal, is in the process of demolishing the buildings on the former mill campus, and the demolition is expected to finish this spring, according to a previously published report.

AIM Development acquired the property from Verso in 2015 for $58 million.

The thermomechanical pulping structure is slated to be torn down by the end of the week, according to WABI.

The town of Bucksport is working to find new businesses for the former mill site, which is adjacent to a deepwater port and has access to rail, natural gas, broadband infrastructure that would be well-suited for industrial uses, Town Manager Susan Lessard told the BDN in November 2016.

Crews from Orland, Orrington and Ellsworth provided mutual aid and Penobscot firefighters provided station coverage. No one was injured.

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