The Midcoast Orthodontics building at 50 Main St. in Newcastle is “likely a total loss” because of structural damage from a Tuesday afternoon, according to Newcastle Fire Chief Clayton Huntley. The building contains three apartments in addition to the orthodontics practice.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office will investigate because of the building’s commercial use, as well as “potential, accidental third-party involvement,” Huntley said.
One resident of the apartments was home when the fire started, but she was able to leave the building safely with assistance from workers who were nearby, Huntley said. No injuries were reported.
The Lincoln County Communications Center dispatched the Newcastle and Damariscotta fire departments at 12:08 p.m. for a report of a structure fire in the vicinity of The Second Congregational Church and the Newcastle Publick House.
When Huntley arrived on scene, the flames were already through the roof of the building, and he immediately called for more help.
The firefighters started a quick knock-down of the fire from the ground before proceeding to an interior investigation for hot spots, Huntley said.
Main Street and the Route 1 northbound off-ramp were closed while firefighters fought the flames. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office provided traffic control. The roads reopened after the flames were extinguished.
The fire’s proximity to a home, as well as to The Second Congregational Church and the Newcastle Publick House, provided a challenge for fire crews, but the firefighters contained the fire, Huntley said. The fire was extinguished after 1 p.m.
According to Newcastle tax records, Robert Dewitt Jr. owns the property but does not reside there. The land and building are assessed at $242,500.
The first floor of the building, home to Midcoast Orthodontics, sustained damage from smoke and water, Huntley said. The second-floor apartments sustained “substantial” damage, and the attic and roof were destroyed.
Three residents and the business have been displaced by the fire, Huntley said. The American Red Cross of Maine is working with the three individuals to ensure they have food, a safe place to sleep and other essentials, according to a news release.
A roofing company was working on the building earlier in the morning, Huntley said. He had not spoken to the workers and was not sure what company it was, he said.
The Newcastle, Damariscotta, Nobleboro and Wiscasset fire departments responded to the scene, along with the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service. The Boothbay, Bristol and Edgecomb fire departments provided station coverage.