An equipment barn at the Maine Organic Farmers and Garden Association's education center in Unity, where the Common Ground Fair is held, burned down on Saturday night. Credit: John Clarke Russ / BDN

A Saturday night fire destroyed a large barn and the equipment inside at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity but authorities don’t yet know what caused it.

Unity Fire Chief Blaine Parsons said the fire, starting around 6 p.m., overtook an open-style 40 foot by 80 foot barn owned by the MOFGA. Parsons said it was difficult to suppress the fire because of high winds rushing through the open concept structure. The state fire marshal’s office is now investigating the cause of the fire.

“The [building] is considered a total loss,” Parsons said.

It’s the second fire to sweep this small town in upper Waldo County in the last year. In late January 2022, a fire burned the Amish Community Market and Bakery to piles of ash and charred metal. The owner was able to  build the bakery back up quickly thanks to support from the Waldo County Amish community.

MOFGA has not yet announced what its next steps will be. Like the Amish community, the nonprofit organization gets a great deal of help from the community members and volunteers every year in its initiatives and events like the Common Ground Fair.

In addition to the barn, a car, three tractors, hand tools and other kinds of farm equipment were destroyed in the fire. There were no injuries, Parsons said.

The chief said firefighters from Unity, Albion, Freedom, Troy and Thorndike were all on the scene until about 9 p.m.