OLD TOWN – A fire destroyed a large apartment building at the corner of Center and Brunswick Streets last Friday morning (Dec. 7), displacing the 19 residents in its 14 apartments.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Dave Daniel, a building fire was reported at 190 Brunswick Street at about 1:20 a.m. that morning.

Old Town Fire crews arrived on scene and found smoke coming from the building and occupants evacuating. Occupants were alerted to an emergency by the fire alarm system, smoke detectors and neighbors.

Daniel said fire crews made quick entry into the building to assist in evacuation efforts and determine location of the fire for containment. Heavy heat and smoke conditions made access to the second and third floors difficult for search and containment.

“As mutual aid crews arrived on scene and entered the building, temperature levels increased and smoke conditions changed making the structure untenable for continued interior operations,” said Daniel. “Exterior operations were established and suppression efforts continued throughout the morning.”

Suppression efforts were hampered by extremely cold temperatures and water pressure issues, added Daniel. “Water pressure issues were primarily cause by the amount of water we were using to suppress the fire. We did have difficulty accounting for all occupants in the initial stages of the fire but we have confirmed that all occupants made it out safely.

There were no reported injuries. To either residents of the building, which is owned by B&L Properties LLC Inc., or emergency responders.

The first responding crew from Old Town Fire did an outstanding job,” said Daniel. “If it were not for their efforts there was a great chance of injuries and or loss of life.”

Disaster responders from the American Red Cross of Maine came to the scene, initially setting up the 19 residents with temporary housing at the Black Bear Inn in Orono. The Red Cross continues to work with those people to ensure that they have food, a safe place to sleep and other essentials, as well as providing financial assistance and community referrals.

The investigation is on going at this time. Old Town Fire and Police are working with the Maine State Fire Marshal’s office and investigators from the building owners insurance company to firnd the origin and cause of the fire, if possible.

Old Town Fire was assisted by Orono Fire, Milford Fire, University Ambulance, Bangor Fire, Glenburn Fire, Veazie Fire, Bradly Fire, Alton Fire, Old Town PD, University PD, The American Red Cross, Cyr Bus and the LaBree Family.


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