MADISON — A gaping hole on Main Street is all that is left after fire destroyed a building that housed an antique shop Tuesday night.

Heavy black smoke was coming out of the two-story wood building when Madison Fire Chief Roger Lightbody arrived shortly after the fire was reported at 10:35 p.m.

Some of the firefighters went into the building to fight the blaze, while 60 others from nine towns arrived to help, he said.

“The color of the smoke changed and I ordered the men out of the building and the place erupted in fire and lit up the town,” Lightbody said Wednesday morning. “They did a great job containing the fire. We could have lost half of Main Street.”

Fire scorched the exterior of the vacant Blackwell building on one side and melted vinyl siding on the Economy Trophy and apartment building on the other side.

The fire started in the basement and its cause remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The building, owned by Gordon and Martha Robbins, housed an antique store, M.V. Block LLC. It was being renovated and was insured.

Lightbody said the destroyed structure might have included multiple buildings that shared a single foundation. A fire damaged the building two years ago when smoking material was carelessly discarded, he said.

He added that two firefighters were slightly injured fighting the fire.

Charlotte Greenleaf said the fire that was only 50 feet from her apartment.

“I was leaving for work in my car when I could see all the black smoke and the red glow of fire reflected off nearby buildings,” Greenleaf said. “By the time I called 911 I could see flames.”

David Leaming — 861-9255

[email protected]

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