BREWER, Maine — A six-unit apartment building on South Main Street was leveled by fire early Tuesday morning, according to officials.
Brewer firefighters and an official with the state fire marshal’s office remained on scene around 8 a.m. combing through the damage and investigating what caused the building at 449 South Main St. to burn.
Brewer Deputy Fire Chief Ralph Cammack said the initial call came in around 12:30 a.m., and the whole back side of the building was completely engulfed in flames when crews arrived.
Cammack said the fire started in a back barn which was used for storage. Four of the units were occupied and all tenants got out safely.
The deputy chief did not have an exact number of how many tenants were living in the building, but multiple families were displaced.
With two other buildings close to the burning structure, Cammack said crews made aggressive moves to keep the blaze from spreading.
“If it wasn’t for this fence right here, I believe that house [next door] would’ve gotten going,” Cammack said, pointing to a fence to the right of the burned structure.
The blaze forced South Main Street, the main thoroughfare through the southern end of the city, to be closed for much of the morning, but the road has since reopened to traffic in both directions.
Cammack said a cause has not been determined and the state fire marshal’s office has launched an investigation. The deputy chief said the fire “does look kind of suspicious.”
The fire was under control by 4:30 a.m.
Firefighters from Brewer, Bangor, Eddington, Holden and Orrington responded. The Red Cross is assisting the displaced families.