June 18, 2018
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Fire destroys MDI garage, apartment

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — The fire chief said there is too much damage to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a two-car garage and an upstairs apartment Sunday night.

Fire Chief Sam Chisholm said the blaze was reported around 9 p.m. at a house on Salem Towne Woods Road. As he pulled up at the scene in a tanker truck a few minutes later, he said, the roof of the building caved in.

There were no significant injuries, though Jonathan Bunker, who lived in the apartment, was treated for smoke inhalation, according to the chief. He said two cats that lived in the apartment are unaccounted for but may have escaped and not yet returned home.

Chisholm said Bunker lived in the apartment next to the home of his mother, Carol Bunker. The son smelled smoke, came downstairs from the apartment and saw a garage wall on fire before telling his mother to call the Fire Department. He then went back into the apartment to try to retrieve some belongings but was forced back outside by the smoke, the chief said.

The building was destroyed by the fire, Chisholm said. There is no obvious possible source, such as electrical wires or a stove, which was located along the wall where Bunker first saw flames, he said. He estimated the cost to repair the damage at $75,000.

Inside the garage were all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, lobster fishing gear and an older model Chevrolet Camaro that was being restored by Bunker and his brother, the fire chief said. All were destroyed by the flames.

The building, which had a footprint of about 30 feet square, was insured, Chisholm said.

Firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to Carol Bunker’s nearby home, though some of the siding on the home melted, he said.

About 30 firefighters, 10 from Mount Desert and five from Tremont, helped battle the blaze. He said crews were at the scene fighting the fire and then cleaning up until about 2 a.m. Monday.



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