FORT KENT, Maine — Fort Kent Fire Department, along with four other fire departments across the border, responded to a mill fire at Canusa Cedar, Inc., located on 145 Rue Des Ormes in Baker Brook, NB.
Fort Kent Fire Chief Ed Endee said his department was dispatched at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Friday and that they did not return until about 7:30 that night, at which point the fire was out.
While the Canadian departments did not determine a cause at the time, Endee said there was speculation that a recent lightning storm may have contributed to the fire, adding that he doesn’t know if any hard evidence has been currently found to support this.
The fire only impacted a large pile of cedar outside the mill, and did not reach any of the buildings.
The cedar pile was roughly 250 by 50 feet, and approximately 15 feet tall. Because of of its size, firefighters had to use cranes at the facility to load extinguished logs onto a trailer and transport them to another location.
“It was very time consuming,” the chief said, adding that firefighters initially had to drive roughly 10 miles to Clair, NB in order to obtain more water, but that they later found another spot about two miles away.
Some of the Canadian firefighters, who came from departments in Baker Brook, Lac-Baker, Clair, and St. Francois, actually climbed on top of undamaged portions of the lengthy pile in order for their hoses to reach the burned portion.
Endee said he did not see, or hear of, any injuries during the five hour battle with the fire.