A five-alarm fire on Island Avenue in Sanford caused major damage, affecting at least three homes Thursday. Credit: Submitted photo courtesy of York County Coast Star

A five-alarm fire on Island Avenue in Sanford caused major damage, affecting at least three homes Thursday.

The Sanford Fire Department responded at 1:20 p.m. to the fire, which reportedly originated at 33 Island Ave. As of mid-afternoon, the three-story apartment building, which has been engulfed in flames, appeared severely damaged and there were no longer visible flames coming from the structure.

At least two other structures appear to be affected. Crews on scene could be seen attacking the fire from three angles.

In addition to the Sanford Fire Department, crews from Alfred, Waterboro, Kennebunk, North Berwick, Biddeford, Rochester, New Hampshire, and others responded to the blaze.

Hundreds of onlookers gathered in the area. Police and fire personnel roped off the neighborhood and asked people to stay away.

Smoke could be seen from the fire at least two miles away.

The Island Avenue neighborhood is near Lafayette School and three blocks away from the Stenton Trust Mill building that burned in June.

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