Fryeburg Fairgrounds fire destroys sheep and cattle barns

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UPDATE: Investigators: Fryeburg Fairgrounds fire started in electrical subpanel Fryeburg Fair officials optimistic they can rebuild by October

FRYEBURG — Two buildings burned to the ground Tuesday night at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds and five others were damaged, according to Fryeburg Fire Chief Andrew Dufresne.

Firefighters were dispatched to 1154 Main St., the site of the fairgrounds, just before 7 p.m. to find the sheep barn fully engulfed in flames, Dufresne said. High winds caused the fire to spread to the cattle barn next to it.

“Due to an aggressive attack, we were able to limit the fire to two buildings,” the chief said.

Dufresne said the barns, about 50 by 150 feet, were a total loss. The barns were empty and no animals or people were injured in the fire.

Five surrounding barns were damaged but saved, he said.

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Dufresne estimated the damage to be about $500,000, but the barns are insured, he said.

He said at least 20 fire departments responded, including departments from Oxford and Cumberland counties and Carroll County, New Hampshire.

The fire was called in to 911 by a passer-by, he said, and a cause had not been determined late Tuesday night.

Dufresne said an investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office was ongoing.

The Fryeburg Fairgrounds Facebook page said it “will keep all our fair-goers posted. Thank you, everyone, for your concern.”

Nearby resident McKenzie Woodward told News Center Maine it was difficult to witness.

“As someone who was raised and still lives in Fryeburg, this is so heartbreaking,” Woodward said. “Several generations of my family work there during the week and we love the fair.”

The fairgrounds are host to the Fryeburg Fair, which is held each year in late September and early October.

The Portland Press Herald contributed to this report.

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