The Sanford fire marshal said an electrical problem caused an early morning fire at a check cashing business on Main Street.

Crews from five communities fought the fire inside RepubliCash, which shares a building with a Thai restaurant.

A person passing RepubliCash around 3:30 a.m. called the fire department to report they smelled smoke and thought they could see a haze of smoke through the big front windows of the business, Capt. Brian Watkins said. Smoke was coming from the eaves of the building when firefighters arrived on scene at 3:38 a.m.

Watkins said there was light smoke inside the building when they entered, but conditions quickly worsened. The fire had started to spread into a shared attic space when firefighters got it under control, he said.

Firefighters forced their way into the building, where they found fire in the rear interior of the RepubliCash side of the building.

Sanford Fire Marshal Patrick Cotter said an electrical issue sparked the fire in a storage area at the rear of the building.

Watkins said 12 firefighters were on duty when the fire was reported and he called for additional help because of the size of the commercial building and the possibility the fire had extended into the attic.

There was no one inside the building when the smoke was reported and no one was injured putting out the fire.

Main Street was closed in the area for several hours because firefighters were using a hydrant across the street.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: grahamgillian


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