CARIBOU, Maine — A fire that began in an office Friday morning soon destroyed an entire apartment complex in Caribou.
Approximately 35 tenants have been displaced from 18 apartments after a fire engulfed the Riverside Motor Court at 560 Access Highway. No one was injured and all tenants made it outside safely, Caribou Fire Chief Scott Susi said.
Though the exact cause is still under investigation, Susi said that the fire started in the 19-unit apartment complex’s office and quickly spread to adjacent units. Crews were able to salvage the ends of the building and allow some tenants to retrieve belongings, but the remainder is a total loss.
Several tenants alerted him of the fire around 10 a.m. when they called 911 and began evacuating people, property manager Kevin Cray said. Fire crews from Caribou, Limestone, Washburn and Fort Fairfield remained at the scene late into the afternoon, putting out any remaining fire.
Volunteers from the American Red Cross were assisted tenants and set up a temporary shelter. Cray said he will work with tenants to find alternative housing in the coming days.
“It’s devastating,” Cray said. “We’ll do whatever we can to find available housing and make sure tenants get whatever they need.”
Tenants from a trailer park located behind Riverside were also displaced due to the water system, which is connected to the apartment unit, being used to extinguish the flames. The fire did not reach the trailer park.
Friday’s fire marks the second one that has occurred at Riverside Motor Court within a year. Last July, tenants were temporarily displaced after an electrical fire burned through the attic, which was under renovation.