Investigators unable to determine cause of massive Old Town fire

Charles Eichacker | BDN
Charles Eichacker | BDN
Officials in Old Town assess the damage Monday from a downtown fire over the weekend that displaced 11 people in addition to some downtown businesses.
Extensive damage prevented investigators from the Maine fire marshal's office from accessing the scene to confirm the cause of the massive blaze.
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Investigators who worked the scene of a late Saturday night fire in downtown Old Town have been unable to determine what caused the massive blaze.

The fire started on the third floor of 274 Main St., but investigators from the Maine fire marshal’s office were unable to access it to confirm the cause due to extensive damage at the scene, Lee L. Miller, deputy chief of the Old Town Police Department, said Monday morning.

No one was hurt in the weekend blaze, but it devastated several buildings in the heart of downtown Old Town, a hard blow for the little city as it works to reinvent itself, residents said Sunday.

The fire was reported at 274 Main St. just before 10 p.m. Saturday, a Penobscot County dispatcher said just after midnight Sunday. The flames then spread into neighboring buildings on both sides.

The building at 270 Main St., adjacent to Yamas Bar and Grill, was torn down, leaving a narrow, rubble-filled gap in its place, while extensive fire damage was visible on the top floors of three neighboring buildings. That block where the fire began is home to other businesses, apartments and the Old Town Water District offices.

An American Red Cross spokeswoman, Ann Kim, said Monday morning that the organization is working with 11 people — up from seven on Sunday — to find housing and other necessities, but she added that number could rise.

Main and Water streets were closed near the scene between Center and Middle streets until the city reopened them about 11:30 a.m. Monday.

City of Old Town | BDN
City of Old Town | BDN
Firefighters battle a blaze in a block of buildings in the heart of downtown Old Town. The fire began about 10 p.m. Saturday and burned into Sunday morning.


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