Washburn, ME – Roughly 24 elderly residents are without a home tonight after a fire at the Washburn Estates on Wilder St. in Washburn. Officials from the Washburn Fire Department says they got the call around 12 pm. They say the cause of the fire appears to be the result of a lightning strike. Everyone was evacuated and nobody was injured. However, residents of the complex say some of their animals had to be left behind. At this time the safety of those animals is unknown.
Residents say they heard a loud boom but it wasn’t until they saw smoke in their apartments that they realized something was wrong. Several neighbors who live in the complex next door rushed to help get people safely out of the building.
The Washburn community quickly stepped up to offer assistance. The Washburn Trailrunners Snowmobile Club opened its doors offering residents a place to go as well as food and drinks. Country Farms Market donated water and provided supper Sunday evening for the residents impacted by the fire. The property is owned by C.S. Management Inc. The owner and her staff were on hand collecting information from each resident, finding out what medications were needed as well as whose animals were left behind.
At this time the extent of the damage is unknown but Washburn’s Fire Chief says because of the smoke and water damage, the Washburn Estates are not habitable. The Washburn Fire Department was assisted by the Presque Isle and Caribou Fire Departments as well as the Mapleton-Chapman-Castle Hill Fire Company.