MEXICO — Fire departments from Mexico and Rumford responded to a fire late Monday night that eradicated the snack shack at the Mexico Recreation Park, Mexico fire Chief Gary Wentzell said Tuesday.

Wentzell said that reports of a fully involved structure fire at the Mexico Recreation Park “came in around 11:45 p.m.,” and that firefighters with the Mexico Fire Department “immediately called for assistance from the Rumford, Peru and Dixfield fire departments.”

The calls for Peru and Dixfield were later canceled, Wentzell said.

“By the time my guys got to the scene of the fire, the building was all but on the ground,” Wentzell said. “We canceled the calls to Peru and Dixfield, but Rumford showed up with two or three trucks, and we brought our tanker there to fight the fire.”

Wentzell said that the primary goal was to “save the new bathrooms that were next to the snack shack.”

“The building with the bathrooms in it is right next to where the snack shack is, so we wanted to make sure the fire didn’t take that,” Wentzell said. “There ended up being a little bit of damage to the bathrooms, but we were able to get it out pretty fast.”


Wayne Sevigny, director of the River Valley Recreation Center, said that he didn’t hear about the fire until Tuesday morning.

“We had some materials in there, along with some tools, but for the most part, it was just snack shack items,” Sevigny said.

Sevigny said that the loss of the building was frustrating, but that it was “just something else that we need to fix up.”

“We’re adding it to the long list of things that we need to do,” Sevigny said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Wentzell said that the cause of the fire remained undetermined.

“The dog that we sent in there didn’t pick up any flammables, so arson seems as if it’s ruled out, but other than that, we don’t know too much,” Wentzell said. “Whenever there’s a fire this bad, where the entire building is burned down, there’s not too much you can do.”

State Fire Marshal Dan Young is the lead investigator and was on scene Tuesday afternoon, along with officers with the Mexico Police Department.

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