FARMINGTON — A shack at the Farmington Waste Water Treatment plant was destroyed by fire Thursday morning.

The approximately 8-by-10-foot wooden structure housed an instrument that takes samples of incoming waste water every hour or so, Superintendent Steve Moore said.

Two public works employees, Jim Kiernan and Ted Collins, spotted heavy smoke bellowing above the treatment plant and called in the structure fire at about 6 a.m., said Farmington Chief Terry Bell. He could spot the smoke as he arrived at the station located just north of the treatment plant on the Farmington Falls Road.

Supporting fire companies were called out for a structure fire but were canceled once Bell arrived at the scene to find the shack “totally involved,” he said. There is another large wooden building at the plant so “we didn’t know what was on fire till we got there,” he said.

The cause of the fire may have originated from a small electrical heater used to keep the shed warm, he said.

In addition to the sampler, there was another sampler used for parts, some motors and an old computer inside the shack.

Moore planned to order a new sampler Friday and expected the replacement to cost between $3,500 and $4,000. He estimated replacing the shed would cost $1,000 but it’s all covered by insurance, he said.

Samples were taken from Tuesday and Wednesday and the crew took a manual sample Thursday. He does have another unit that can be set up without a shed at this time of year until the new sampler is installed, he said.

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