A Newport drumstick factory avoided serious structural damage when a fire was contained to a metal stairwell, said the town’s assistant fire chief.

The Sunday fire was reported 8:48 a.m at Vic Firth’s drumstick factory, said Assistant Fire Chief Rick Turner.

Turner said the fire was contained under metal stairs with a metal lining under the stairs, which prevented it from spreading to the second floor.

“It was contained to a four-by-four area,” he said. “If the steel that went under the stairwell wasn’t there and had been wood, it would have given us a run for our money.”

He said the state fire marshal’s office determined the fire was caused by a water cooler that overheated.

Turner said drumsticks sustained water damage when the sprinklers went off in response to the smoke.

The High Street factory produces about 85,000 sticks a day, according to its website.

Turner said Newport Fire and Rescue was helped by crews from Dexter, Corinna and Pittsfield. A crew from Etna staffed the Newport station during the fire.

He said crews cleared the scene at 11:30 a.m.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

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