JAY — Fire destroyed a local businessman’s garage and tools, some about 100 years old, late Friday afternoon on Warren Hill Road, Fire/Rescue Chief Mike Booker said.
About 35 firefighters from Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Farmington and Wilton responded to Carl Badeau’s property to find the garage estimated to be 40 by 60 feet engulfed in flames, Booker said.
All of Badeau’s tools that he uses to fix equipment for his business, Badeau’s Excavating, his son’s tools and his father’s tools were lost, Booker said.
The front of a dump truck and a pickup truck parked outside were also damaged.
Badeau had been drilling holes, but when a thunderstorm began he put everything away and went to dinner, Booker said.
It is possible lightning struck the building, the chief said. The fire started minutes after a lightning strike. Booker called the Office of the State Fire Marshal and investigators will be at the scene Monday morning to try to determine a cause.
Badeau had “lots and lots” of tools, Booker said, many irreplaceable because of their age.
“We’re estimating $175,000 in damage, including the garage,” Booker said.
The property was insured.
The fire was reported at about 5:23 pm. Firefighters left the scene at about 7 p.m., but they were called back an hour later because it rekindled.
Jay Fire Rescue Department photo