At least seven people were displaced, but no one was reported hurt, after a fire devastated several buildings in the heart of Old Town’s downtown late Saturday night.
The fire was reported at 274 Main St. just before 10 p.m., a dispatcher at the Penobscot County Regional Communications Center said just after midnight Sunday. That building houses Serenity Salon and Spa on the ground floor as well as apartments above it.
The sounds of sirens from responding fire engines broke the nighttime stillness and startled many around the community. Theresa Vinson of Milford said that when she heard the sirens, she and a neighbor walked downtown to see what was happening.
“It was pretty amazing. It was very awe-inspiring to see the fire department working. That fire was massive, and spreading quickly,” she said Sunday morning, adding that she’s rarely seen more activity downtown. “It’s such a quiet town to begin with. This was more action than a parade.”
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The Maine fire marshal’s office has not determined a cause, according to Scott Wilcox, the Old Town public safety director, who also said that Main Street will be closed until Monday because of questions about the structural integrity of the buildings there.
“Tomorrow we’re hoping to have structural engineers in to give the official word,” he said.
The fire also ripped through neighboring buildings that housed businesses, including the Cutting Edge and Simple Things & Sweets, and apartments. The block in the heart of the city’s downtown where the fire started is home to Yamas Bar and Grill, the Penobscot Times and the Old Town Water District offices as well.
Firefighters from all over responded to the blaze, including the communities of Bangor, Orono, Milford and Howland, according to one bystander. Old Town fire Capt. John Kokoska said that towns as far away as Holden and Hermon came to help, and that the firefighters worked until the early morning hours to still the flames.