An early morning fire destroyed The Last Unicorn in Waterville on Sunday.
The blaze broke out at the Silver Street restaurant about 3:53 a.m., according to the Waterville Fire Department.
Firefighters encountered a quickly deteriorating situation as heavy smoke reduced visibility and heat and flames kept crews from entering the building. Reinforcements were called for about 3:56, 4:01 and 4:12 a.m.
Crews used an excavator to keep the flames from spreading to the nearby Silver Street Tavern and Cancun Restaurant. At one point, flames began to spread toward the Cancun Restaurant, but firefighters extinguished them and stopped their further spread, according to the department.
Still, nearby buildings sustained minor smoke damage.
The blaze was largely contained and cleanup underway by 8:30 a.m., the Waterville Morning Sentinel reported later on Sunday.
The fire department said that three or four firefighters suffered minor burns in the battle. They were treated at the scene, and taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
“They are all doing well at this time,” the department said.
The Maine fire marshal’s office is investigating to determine the cause of the blaze, while the fire department and city are working to ensure the scene is safe and secure.
“At this time, we have little information of how the fire started and we anticipate it will take days to understand the totality of the circumstances,” the department said.
The Last Unicorn had only reopened in February after an extended closure, according to the Morning Sentinel.