Fire destroys unoccupied building in Rumford

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RUMFORD — For the second time in six days, firefighters from several towns were needed to battle a structure fire in Rumford.

Early Tuesday, up to 40 firefighters from Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield and Peru battled a fire in an unoccupied building at the corner of Oxford Avenue and Cumberland Street.

Fire Chief Bob Chase said the call came in at 3:08 a.m.

At the time Rumford and Mexico fire departments were toned, he said smoke and some fire were coming from the second-story window of the 25 Oxford Ave. building, which still had working electricity.

By the time the equipment was in place, Chase said a decision was made to do an “exterior attack” because the fire had already burned through the roof.

Dixfield and Peru fire departments were then toned to go to the scene.

Chase said there were no injuries.

By 8 a.m., an excavator was already tearing down the burnt portion of the building.

Chase said the State Fire Marshal’s Office will be investigating. That investigation is expected to include photos provided by the fire department.

The decision was made use the excavator because the building was “not safe to go into or to leave standing,” the chief said.

The history of this building is best known for the years it served as Rita’s Laundromat.

The other structure fire occurred Thursday night, destroying a home at 411 South Rumford Road.

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After battling an early morning fire Tuesday at the corner of Oxford Avenue and Cumberland Street in Rumford, firefighters watch an excavator tear down the burnt portion of the unoccupied building. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

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