May 29, 2020
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Danforth restaurant destroyed by fire

DANFORTH, Maine — A fire ripped through a historic building in downtown Danforth on Tuesday morning, destroying the restaurant that was inside and severely damaging a building that has been in the town since the late 1800s.

The fire that destroyed the Cornerstone Inn Restaurant began just before 8 a.m., according to Danforth Fire Chief Dwayne Young.

Young said the owner of the full-service restaurant, Budd Shain, was in the kitchen cleaning just before the fire broke out.

“He was cleaning in the kitchen and he was also working with the grill,” he said. “Suddenly he turned around and saw flames and tried to put them out but realized he couldn’t. He thinks something happened with the gas line.”

Young said Shain called for help and turned off the restaurant’s propane tanks. The building’s kitchen area, which was an attachment to the original two-story building, was in flames when firefighters arrived a few moments after receiving the fire call.

Firefighters attacked the blaze from outside and from the roof, pouring water into the restaurant through a hole in the roof, Young said.

With mutual aid from firefighters from Haynesville and Hodgdon, crews had the blaze under control by 10 a.m.

The building sits on the intersection of U.S. Route 1, Route 169 and Depot Street. Young said it has served many purposes over the years, including as a private residence, a pizza place and pool hall and restaurant.

The restaurant is still standing, the chief said, while the kitchen area had severe fire, smoke and water damage. The other half of the building had water and smoke damage.

No injuries were reported.

Shain had insurance on the restaurant, which he ran with his wife, Susie, for “three or four years,” Young said.

“It was an old historic building,” the chief said. “I believe it has been in the town since the late 1800s.”

Young said the State Fire Marshal’s Office would not be involved.

“The owner was standing right there when the fire started, and it is pretty clear what happened,” he said Tuesday.

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