WATERVILLE — The state fire marshal’s office has been called to help firefighters determine the cause of a fire that damaged an apartment building on Front Street.

The fire, reported just before 2 p.m. Saturday, is “potentially” suspicious, according to fire Captain John Gromek, who was at the scene.

Gromek said it appears the fire started in a bedroom in Apartment 2 on the first floor of the building.

“At this point, it’s unknown, the cause,” he said. “The fire marshal’s office is coming to give us a hand determining the cause.”

The 2 1/2 story, 6-unit apartment building is at the corner of Front and Union streets, just down the street from the fire station, so firefighters arrived quickly.

Smoke was rolling out of the back of the first floor of the wood building, which is about 80 years old, according to officials.

“They were able to knock it down quick,” Gromek said. “It looks like there’s damage to the bedroom and probably smoke damage throughout in the apartment and probably light smoke damage in the second floor apartment.”

About 18 firefighters from Waterville and Winslow worked at the scene while Fairfield firefighters covered the Waterville station. Police and Delta Ambulance also were at the scene.

Cheryl Jack, 56, lives in a second floor apartment above the apartment where the fire occurred. She said a neighbor on Union Street knocked on her door to notify her of the fire.

She appeared frantic at the scene, worried about her service cat, Oliver, a 5-year-old feline she said would hide from firefighters.

“He’s silver grey with a white spot on his belly,” she said, adding that the color is spelled “grey” as in the television show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Gromek later told her firefighters had located the cat and he was fine.

Jeffrey Mello, who lives with his family in a house next door to the apartment building, said he saw that Jack was distraught and went over and tried to console her.

“I just helped her to my house, sat her down and tried to calm her down a little bit,” he said.

The fire occurred just north of Joseph’s Market.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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