Gardiner police and the Office of State Fire Marshal are investigating the cause of a fire Monday evening that burned several pieces of wooden debris inside the former T.W. Dick Co. iron works building on Summer Street but was quickly extinguished by Gardiner firefighters.

While damage from the fire was “minimal,” Gardiner police Chief James Toman said the blaze appeared to have been set intentionally.

“It is suspicious in nature, and we think there was a human element to it,” Toman said. “It’s an abandoned building with no electricity, and based upon the debris or materials that were on fire, simple deductive reason indicates there was a human element.”

Several pieces of wooden debris were burned in the fire, but Gardiner firefighters who arrived at the scene around 5:20 p.m. Monday were able to prevent the fire from spreading, Toman said.

They went to the scene after a local businessperson saw and smelled smoke coming from the building and reported it to authorities, Toman said.

“We appreciate the ‘see (something) say something’ attitude that this person had,” Toman added.

The abandoned iron works building is one of several that a Portland-based company plans to demolish and replace with a medical arts building and a senior housing complex.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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