UPDATED: Belfast Penobscot McCrum offices a total loss after evening fire breaks out

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:45pm

    BELFAST — The business offices of Penobscot McCrum, a potato factory located on Pierce Street, was destroyed by an evening fire May 9, according to Belfast Fire Chief James Richards. 

    When the fire was reported, around 6 p.m., it had yet to ravage the entire building, but two hours into the blaze it had gone through the entire building.

    Around 8 p.m. an excavator was brought in to tear into the roof of the building, with Assistant Fire Chief Bob Richards explaining that it was too dangerous for firefighters to enter the building. 

    Instead, firefighters blasted the fire with water from both sides and above, with one firefighter standing on a raised fire truck ladder to give him access. 

    Fire Chief Richards said he doesn’t know how many people were inside when the fire started, but that he believed it was just one or two and neither had been injured. 

    While the offices were completely destroyed, the factory was not affected by the fire. 

    In total three departments responded to the blaze including Belfast, Searsport, and Morrill. Firefighters remained at the fire until roughly 1 a.m. 

    In a May 10 media report released by Maine State Police Spokesman Stephen McCausland said that the fire marshals have yet to determine the cause of the fire; the release also states:  

    “Investigators say the fire started in the attic area, but because the building was destroyed, the exact cause cannot be determined. The fire was reported by a cleaning crew in the offices about 6 pm.  An excavator was used to assist firefighters at the scene and all that remains today is the cellar where the building once stood.  There were no injuries.”

    Erica Thoms can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com