MECHANIC FALLS (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Crews from more than 50 different departments in Maine have responded to a massive fire in Mechanic Falls and officials say they are desperately in need of relief.
Officials say there is a subterranean level to the historic mill building and firefighters are having a hard time getting reaching it. Maine cycle is located in the subterranean level where the fire is still smoldering as of Monday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the fire began.
The fire at the former Marcal Paper Mill, that was converted into apartments and businesses years ago, started Sunday afternoon. Some of the residents who lived at the former mill on Lewiston Street have lost everything.
Fire in Mechanic Falls
Crews arrived at the scene around 1:30 p.m. on October 14 and battled the blaze throughout a very cold night. Two firefighters ended up in the hospital suffering from minor injuries and exhaustion.
The community in Mechanic Falls is in shock after seeing a huge black column of smoke that was visible for miles Sunday.
Some have said was the former mill was the backbone of the community for decades until the early 80's.
The Mechanic Falls Fire Department Deputy Chief Thomas Doherty says it is the largest fire he has ever seen and his first thought when he saw it was "we need more trucks."
Suzanne Pelletier lived in one of the apartments attached to the mill. She says her partner Jeff was about to take a nap after work when he smelled smoke.
"He opened the door and the entire garage was filled with smoke." Pelletier said.
They say first responders rescued him from the burning building. They believe their apartment is a total loss.
"It's gone, everything is gone." Pelletier said.
They are absolutely devastated but are determined to move forward with help from their community. A Go-Fund Me page has been created to help the family.
NEWS CENTER Maine spoke with one man who says he was the first person to call for help and he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the flames…saying this was a piece of the town's history that can never be replaced.
Sergeant Ken Grimes with the Fire Marshall’s Office said they will not be able to start their investigation into what caused the destructive fire until Tuesday when they anticipate all the hotspots will be out.
The towns legion hall is near the fire scene and volunteers are serving up hot meals and water for first responders and anyone else who may need extra help.