Volunteer firefighters from Limestone assist in putting out the apartment fire on Water Street in Caribou on Wednesday. Credit: Melissa Lizotte / Aroostook Republican & News

CARIBOU, Maine — Fire and ambulance crews fought two structure fires in downtown Caribou on Wednesday.

At around 2 a.m., Caribou Fire & Ambulance received a call about a fire that started at a two-story building with several apartments on Water Street. 

Later, a separate fire destroyed a home at 273 Sweden St. 

More than 50 firefighters from Caribou, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Washburn and North Lakes Fire & Rescue worked to fight the blazes, Caribou Fire Capt. Danny Raymond said.

At 10 a.m., a dozen firefighters from Caribou, Limestone and Washburn remained on Water Street as that building still burned extensively. Crews hosed water onto the flames as temperatures remained in the single digits.

“The whole roof collapsed into itself, so it’s still burning,” Raymond said. 

A home at 273 Sweden St. in Caribou was deemed a total loss after a fire swept through Wednesday morning. Credit: Melissa Lizotte / The Aroostook Republican

Firefighters continued putting out the blaze until around 2 p.m. Caribou Public Works was on hand to assist crews with cleaning debris.

At least one individual was injured in the fire and transported to Cary Medical Center, fire officials said.

Derick St. Peter, who owns Creative Carpentry of Maine at 6 Water St., rushed to his business at 5 a.m. after learning of the fire across the street and saw the crews outside. He returned at 8 a.m. to open the shop.

“It’s definitely a different view than usual,” St. Peter said. “I feel bad for the people displaced and the [fire] crew because it’s so cold outside.”

St. Peter said he offered firefighters a chance to warm up inside his shop, but they all preferred to remain inside their trucks or ambulances to monitor the fire.

American Red Cross volunteers were on scene outside Caribou Office Park on nearby Hatch Drive to assist those displaced.

Volunteers provided families with a place to warm up and eat inside the Red Cross offices and offered financial assistance to those who need hotel rooms and other necessities, said Jennifer Costa, Red Cross regional communications director.

As of 2 p.m., the Red Cross had assisted seven families and 13 people displaced by the Water Street fire, she said.

Caribou Fire & Ambulance responded to the fire at 273 Sweden St. at 8:30 a.m. and remained on scene for over four hours. A police officer diverted traffic away from the fire.

Two people who were living in the house were not home when the fire started, Fire Capt. Brian Lajoie said. 

Firefighters suspect a pet may have been lost in the fire but were unable to search through the debris on Wednesday afternoon. 

The home was deemed a total loss, Lajoie said.

The fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of both fires.