But two days after the Wentworth Event Center fire, both organizations are already rebounding.
The Wentworth Event Center was completely destroyed in an early morning fire on Saturday. Credit: Courtesy of Murray Carpenter

When an early morning fire tore through the Wentworth Event Center in Belfast Saturday, it destroyed the regional public transportation hub run by a local nonprofit and the commercial kitchen of a local catering company.

But two days later, both organizations are already rebounding.

For the transportation hub run by Waldo Community Action Partners, a nonprofit providing services to low-income households in the region, it was business as usual Monday. Over the weekend, officials mobilized to reroute employees to other regional hubs and are temporarily working from other offices in Belfast, Rockland and Bath, or working remotely.

“We essentially didn’t skip a beat,” said Michael Hallundbaek, Waldo Community Action Partners’ transportation director

Hallundbaek said the fire did not damage any of the organization’s vehicle fleet, and services, including downtown shuttles in Belfast and Rockland, regional buses and nonemergency hospital trips, continued without interruption. The phone lines also remain operational.

The organization will now explore options for a new office space, said the nonprofit’s CEO, Donna Kelley.

The Moody Dog hot dog stand also used the center’s kitchen and storage facilities to cook and store food and supplies for its catering services. Owner Raymelle Moody is glad that there were no injuries during the fire, and for the most part, the equipment and supplies she lost can be replaced.

But the one thing that she can’t get back is a personal notebook containing nine years of notes and recipe testing that was lost in the blaze.

“The book of my own recipes was lost, that’s the one thing that’s kind of the worst,” Moody said.

Her food truck at 39 Main St. in Belfast was not affected by the fire and remains open and fully operational, but her catering service has come to a full halt due to the loss of the kitchen and supplies. Moody hopes to get the service back up and running, but this season she’ll stay focused on the food truck.

“I’m gonna take my time and figure out what the best move is,” Moody said.

The Wentworth Event Center was deemed a total loss by firefighters, who first received reports of the fire around 1 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters said the blaze had already claimed too much of the structure by the time they arrived to contain the damage.

The Maine fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the blaze.

“The [Wentworth Event Center] has been a pillar of our community for many years, and we’re sad to see it lost in this way,” Kelley said.

Braeden Waddell is a reporter covering Belfast and Waldo County. He grew up in Waldoboro and joined the Bangor Daily News in 2023 after working as an associate producer for National Public Radio. He graduated...