MONTICELLO, Maine — A two-story building that once served as an antique store on U.S. Route 1 was destroyed by fire Thursday morning.
Traffic along Route 1 was blocked off for several hours, with cars backed up for more than a mile. RSU 29 students were late in getting to school as buses had to find alternate routes to pick them up. Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles.
Officials in the Monticello town office said the building, which is owned by Tina Raven-Kingson, was destroyed. Firefighters arrived about 5:46 a.m. and spent about five and a half hours trying to contain the blaze. Firefighting crews from Bridgewater and Littleton assisted.
Heat from the fire was so intense that it melted some of the vinyl siding on the exterior of the Monticello Country Store located across the street.
Attempts to reach Monticello Fire Chief Morris Pinette were not immediately successful. Efforts to reach an investigator from the Maine state fire marshal’s office also were unsuccessful.