Smoke rises from the rubble of 32 Industrial St. in Presque Isle on Sunday. The building housing three businesses was destroyed in a Friday fire. (|) Credit: Paula Brewer / The Star-Herald

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A building housing three businesses in Presque Isle was deemed a total loss following Friday’s fire.

When firefighters arrived at 32 Industrial St., around 1 p.m. Friday, the roof of the building had already collapsed, according to Kim Smith, Presque Isle public information officer. 

No one was in the building, which was home to M&M Sheet Metal and Welding, Pete’s Performance Auto and LaJoie Electric and Control Service Inc., when the fire broke out, Smith said.

It will be difficult to determine the fire’s cause due to the amount of damage done to the building, Presque Isle Fire Chief Darrell White said Monday. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause.

With the temperature at minus 10 and falling through the afternoon on Friday, ice formed quickly as firefighters trained water on the blaze. 

One firefighter slipped on the ice and hurt his elbow, but no other injuries were reported. The fire was out around 4:30 p.m., White said.

Peter LaJoie, owner of the building and LaJoie Electric, was among those scrambling Friday to move heavy equipment and office supplies from the site. 

He and an employee were joined by several Presque Isle residents, who pitched in to help salvage as much as possible, he said Monday.

LaJoie said friends told him about the fire, and when he arrived Friday, the fire was already at the back of the building.

“The insurance adjusters are looking at it, and we hope to rebuild,” LaJoie said.

Mutual aid was provided by fire crews from Mapleton, Easton and Caribou.