AUGUSTA, Maine — An electrical malfunction is being blamed for a fire that leveled a telemarketing business early Thursday morning.

The blaze at Marketing Unlimited, located at 84 Webster Ave., broke out around 5 a.m., according to Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette.

“There were 54 computer stations in there and none of them are salvageable,” Audette said.

Marketing Unlimited employs 50 people, Audette said, and the building also includes a duplex which was spared major damage. The business and the duplex are connected by a common basement, the chief said.

The state fire marshal’s office determined that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in the ceiling, and no foul play was involved, Audette said. A 91-year-old woman asleep in her residence in the duplex managed to get out safely.

“We were lucky it was called in when it was,” said Audette, noting its likely the woman may not have escaped had firefighters not responded promptly.

“I think things could’ve been a lot worse,” he added.

It was unknown whether the company had insurance.

“I don’t know what their plan is,” Audette said.

Firefighters from Augusta, Winthrop, Gardiner and Chelsea battled the blaze.

Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective...