CAMBRIDGE — When tragedy strikes a small town, people take action.

That’s what Lori Bard and Sue Charette say.

Bard, who owns the Cambridge General Store and Restaurant, and Charette are organizing a community supper and silent auction to raise money because that’s what the women say you do in a small town after a fire destroys a beloved town landmark, in this case, Bunker’s Garage.

On the morning of Dec. 11, sometime after Greg Davis finished welding a part of a truck, a fire started, according to Cambridge Fire Chief Rob Folsom. After Davis left the garage, a tire on the truck caught fire and the flames spread from there. By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, the building was “engulfed in smoke,” Folsom said on the day of the fire. When firefighters realized they couldn’t stop the flames, they had an excavator take the building apart. It was a total loss.

Area residents, including Mark Bunker, who owned the garage, and Davis, the mechanic who was leasing it, watched either from the sidewalk or from inside the general store, which is directly across from the garage.

“It was devastating to watch,” Bard said.

Bard had just moved to the area in May, so while she didn’t have a lifelong connection to the building, she said it was still hard to watch townspeople stare at a place they loved go up in flames.

It was especially hard to watch as Davis and Bunker witnessed the loss of what was their lives and their livelihood, she said.

When asked why Bard took it upon herself to start collecting donations and organizing fundraisers, she said, “That’s what you do when you live in a small town. You take care of each other.”

The building was more than a garage for the town, more than a recognizable business.

“I remember coming down here as a kid, and that’s where all the men used to hang out and share the gossip,” said Sue Charette, one of the fundraiser organizers who’s lived in Cambridge “on-and-off” since 1977.

Charette was also there the day of the fire. “It was pretty sad to see a building that you’ve always known to be there (burn down),” she said.

Charette is helping organize fundraisers because she’s known Davis for most of her life, she said.

“It was the right thing to do,” she said. “In a little town like this, everyone knows everybody and everyone helps each other.”

The Bunker’s Garage Rebuild Benefit Supper is set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Cambridge Town Office. There will be a silent auction at the same time. The supper will be old-fashioned Maine baked beans “with all the fixin’s” and dessert.

The organizers are accepting any food donations for the supper as well donations for the silent auction. For more information, call Bard at the general store at 277-4434.

The general store is also collecting cash donations for Davis.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: