BELGRADE — Investigators say they are unable to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed an auto repair shop Monday on Dustin Drive because the damage to the building was too extensive, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The cause of the fire will be listed officially as undetermined, Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the fire marshal’s office, said Tuesday.

On Monday, the fire at Ray’s Auto, which is off Routes 8 and 11 in North Belgrade, destroyed the business along with thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. Owners Ray Frappier and Percy French have said they did not have insurance and are unsure whether they will rebuild.

Grimes noted that it’s not unusual for the cause of fires to be undetermined, as about one-third of fires investigated by the fire marshal’s office receive that designation after investigations are complete, he said.

“Fire by its very nature destroys a lot of what we need to look at to determine an area of origin,” Grimes said. “Once we pinpoint an area of origin, we look in that area for a cause. If a fire has developed to the point that it has consumed the building to the point that there’s nothing for us to look at, … we list it as undetermined.”

Investigators were also unable to determine where in the building the fire started. Grimes said the garage contained flammable materials such as oil, gasoline and kerosene that would have helped the fire spread quickly.


Belgrade Fire Chief Dan MacKenzie said the fire was not considered suspicious and no injuries were reported.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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