The cause of a fire that destroyed a two-story barn and workshop at 492 State Route 129 in South Bristol early Thursday morning, Jan. 14 is undetermined, according to officials at the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Isaiah Peppard, an investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, visited the scene Thursday morning. Peppard said a specific cause of the fire could not be determined due to the amount of damage.
“There’s a number of things inside the building that could have contributed, but there is just no way to tell because of the extensive damage,” Peppard said.
The fire was fully involved when Lincoln County Communications paged the South Bristol Fire Department to the scene at 2:07 a.m. Thursday, South Bristol Fire Chief Mark Carrothers said.
Carrothers said he arrived on scene less than 10 minutes after the page went out. The barn collapsed soon after.
The Bristol Fire Department, the Damariscotta Fire Department, and the Newcastle Fire Department also responded to provide mutual aid.
The fire “completely destroyed” the two-story, 40-by-50-foot wooden barn, Carrothers said.
No one was inside the building when the fire started and there were no injuries, Carrothers said.
The barn was owned by Steve Viega, who lives on the property. Viega owns Steve Viega Woodworks, which operated out of the barn, Carrothers said. The barn was filled with woodworking supplies and a pickup truck, which were lost in the fire.
Viega has insurance on both the structure and the business, Carrothers said.
Mutual aid crews cleared the scene at approximately 5:30 a.m.
Carrothers said an “undetermined amount” of diesel fuel was spilled from a fuel tank on the property during the fire. The spill was not from the fire equipment.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection took soil samples Thursday and returned Friday, Jan. 15 to excavate the soil that may have been impacted, according to DEP Director of Communications David Madore. The DEP will return to the scene at a later date to sample the soil again.
Madore said it is estimated that fewer than 10 gallons of fuel were spilled.
Carrothers expressed gratitude for the mutual aid provided by the Bristol, Damariscotta, and Newcastle fire departments.