BUCKSPORT, Maine — A local community service agency is collecting donations of clothes and money for victims of Sunday’s Main Street fire while investigators continue to search for a cause for the blaze.
No one was injured in Sunday’s fire, but it did cause extensive damage to an apartment building located at 31 Main St. and displaced 16 people who lived there, according to Bucksport Fire Chief Craig Bowden. Thirteen people were living in the apartment full time, while one tenant had his three children living with him on a part-time basis, Bowden said Monday.
Bowden said that officials with the local fire department and the state fire marshal’s office have not yet determined how the fire started but will continue examining the site on Tuesday. He said they have confirmed that one dog and two cats died in the fire, but they also found two other cats safe and sound in the building on Monday. The surviving cats were reunited with their owner, he said.
The building was insured, but only one of eight occupied units in the building was covered by renters’ insurance, the chief said. Two other units were vacant. He said 90 percent of the items in the building had damage from water or heat.
“The building’s been condemned,” Bowden said. “I’m estimating [it was built in the] early 1900s.”
The Pine Tree Chapter of the Red Cross has put up the building’s tenants in area motels, he said. Bucksport Community Concerns, a local community service organization, is accepting donations to help the victims.
The Rev. Peter Remick, treasurer of the group and chaplain for the local fire department, said Monday that people who want to donate money can send checks marked “fire victims” to P.O. Box 603, Bucksport 04416. People who want to donate clothing can do so at the organization’s Talk ‘N Shop thrift store on Main Street, he added.
Remick said people have already made arrangements to take children who were living in the building shopping for new clothes and other needs. He said donations of adult clothing are one of the more immediate needs to fill. Other needs will be addressed as housing arrangements are made for the former tenants.
“I don’t have all the clothing sizes [of the victims] yet,” Remick said. “We’re working on getting that.”