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Vassalboro yard care business burns to the ground

All workers were gone to lunch, leaving the building empty when the fire broke out.
Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine
No workers were hurt in the fire that destroyed the building that housed Vannah Yard Care in Vassalboro on Friday, February 28, 2020.

VASSALBORO, Maine — Employees at a Vassalboro business returned from their lunch break to find their workplace engulfed by fire.

Not much is left of the metal shop at Vannah Yard Care near the intersection of North Belfast Avenue and Legion Park Road.

Vassalboro Fire Chief Walker Thompson said his department got the call just after noon on Friday. His crews arrived to find a fire burning throughout the building.

No workers were inside, having all left for lunch. Thompson said the owner was also sitting down to eat when he got a call about the fire.

Before they left, Thompson said the workers had been using cutting torches and grinding equipment. The building's propane heaters also provided fuel for the fire.

Since the building was located beyond the town's network of fire hydrants, crews relied on tanker trucks for water. Firefighters from China and South China assisted the local crew. Thompson also credited workers from Central Maine Power and Delta Ambulance for providing support.

The turnout drew praise from Thompson. He explained the challenge that volunteer departments face in pulling together during the middle of the day when so many firefighters have other jobs. Thompson said he's thankful for his crew's overwhelming response.

Firefighters were successful at keeping the fire contained. Through their efforts, Thompson said a salt shed about 25-feet away sustained not a bit of damage.

Also lost in the fire along with the Vannah facility itself were the excavators, vehicles, and equipment stored inside. But Thompson said no people were hurt.

The Maine State Fire Marshal's office opened an investigation into the fire, but Thompson said there is no indication of suspicious activity.

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