WATERVILLE — A fire that destroyed merchandise this week at the Super Shoes store off Kennedy Memorial Drive was caused by an accidental electrical malfunction.

The May 9 fire began around 1:30 p.m. in the basement of the store at 1 Washington St. Employees at the store reported seeing smoke coming from a back office and discovered it was coming up from the basement. The employees and the two customers in the store left the building.

In addition to Waterville, a crew from Oakland also responded to the fire because Waterville had a limited number of firefighters available at the time of the call.

Waterville Fire Capt. Rodney Alderman said on Thursday that there was “heavy smoke damage throughout the building and extensive loss of merchandise from smoke damage.”

Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the state fire marshal’s office, who investigated the incident, said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in a light circuit, but the specific circuit wasn’t identified. He said smoke caused the most damage.

“The actual fire damage was not that great, but the smoke and heat damage throughout the building is what created the biggest problem for the products that they have inside,” Grimes said. “If the products are salvageable or not, that’s up to the business and their insurance company.”

He said the building appeared to be in a condition that would allow it to be renovated, but that also was up to the insurance company and the property owners.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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