February 18, 2013

Unity apartment house fire rekindles on late Saturday

Furnace malfunction caused blaze that destroyed 178 Main St., fire chief says

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

UNITY — A fire that destroyed an apartment building Saturday morning at 178 Main St. rekindled late Saturday night. 

click image to enlarge

The remains of an apartment building that was destroyed by fire on Saturday, at 178 Main Street in Unity, as seen on Sunday. Four tenants are homeless and firefighters from 14 departments battled the stubborn fire Saturday morning and into the night.

Staff photo by David Leaming

Three fire departments were on scene from about 10:30 p.m. until midnight, said Unity Fire Chief Dennis Turner. 

“We thought we had it completely extinguished but didn’t. There was a small fire between two floors in an area we couldn’t see,” said Turner.

Firefighters from Thorndike, Troy and Unity were on hand to extinguish the small fire, about 12 hours after the original call was made alerting them to a fire that destroyed the seven-apartment building.

The fire’s cause was a furnace malfunction, Turner said Saturday. 

Sue Ferreria, the daughter of Ralph and Nancy Nason, the building’s owners, said her son and her brother were at the scene Saturday night after the original fire had been put out, and they saw flames.

She also said a cat that belonged to one of the building’s tenants and originally thought to have been lost in the house during the fire was found Saturday afternoon. She said her brother, Ralph Nason Jr., rescued the cat and returned it to Beverly Mears.

“The cat and everybody else inside got out safe,” she said.

Ferreria said her parents will demolish the remains of the building, but she wasn’t sure when that will happen.

In the meantime, Turner said the fire has been put out completely.

“We tore it apart with a backhoe. There’s nothing left now but a pile of rubble,” he said.

 

Rachel Ohm —  612-2368
rohm@mainetoday.com

 

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