WINSLOW — The owners of McCormack Building Supply in Winslow plan to rebuild after a fire ravaged the business Friday, according to a relative of the owner.

“It was my brother’s business, but he was going to turn it over to his son any day, and then the fire happened,” said the sister of Duane Farnham, the man town records identify as the owner. “Now they’re planning to rebuild. His son is very interested in keeping business going, so that’s what’s going to happen.”

Farnham’s sister declined to provide her first name, and Duane Farnham could not be reached Monday for comment.

Friday’s blaze engulfed the main retail building and caused minor damage to a rear structure, according to Winslow Fire Chief Ronnie Rodriguez. No one was injured.

Dark smoke could be seen across the nearby Kennebec River in Waterville as materials burned. The fire, reported at 11:52 a.m., drew a large response from emergency crews throughout the area. Units from Albion, China, Clinton, Fairfield, Oakland, Vassalboro and Waterville assisted Winslow firefighters at the scene.

Lithgow Street was blocked to traffic in both directions near a pile of rubble on the property Monday afternoon. Several people were at the site but said they did not want to talk about the fire or that it was “not a good time.”


Cleanup is underway Monday at McCormack Building Supply in Winslow. The business suffered heavy losses in a fire Friday.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is looking into the cause of the blaze but has yet to report its findings.

“I don’t have a whole lot (of information) because nobody’s working the holiday,” said Sgt. Joel Davis, an investigator with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. “I know it was under investigation (Friday) and I know there were some interviews done over the weekend, but until I get in tomorrow, I won’t know what the results of those are.”

Cleanup efforts Monday remove debris, including burned file cabinets, from McCormack Building Supply in Winslow. The business suffered heavy losses in a fire Friday.

Monday was Indigenous Peoples Day, a state holiday introduced by Gov. Janet Mills earlier this year.

McCormack Building Supply, located at 8 Lithgow St., sells building materials, hardware, power tools and bath and kitchen fixtures. The company also offers design services, according to its website.

Brandon Roberge, a general contractor who owns Newman Homes in Winslow, said McCormack Building Supply was a major provider in the area. While the temporary shutdown of the business will be inconvenient for him, Roberge said the impact will not be crippling for his business.

“I’m really glad everyone made it out OK — that was my biggest thing about it,” Roberge said. “I’m sure the building will be replaced. In the meantime, it’s a little further drive (to another supplier), but that’s OK. It’s a minor inconvenience compared to them having to rebuild a building that burned down.”


Newman Homes, headquartered at 24 Halifax St., specializes in home building and remodeling across the state. Roberge said over the past year, he has been to McCormack Building Supply about 100 times.

“We use them quite a bit,” he said.

At the time of the fire, Roberge had a small order of windows for a ranch house restoration project pending with McCormack Building Supply. He said he had not been in contact since the blaze. He described the shop as “just kind of a regular store on the inside” with a counter.

“There was a good amount of stuff — they had a little bit of everything,” Roberge said. “There was a good amount of plumbing stuff, a good amount of everything. I know they had offices above the store area.”

Roberge added there were also three sheds on the 8 Lithgow St. store and lumberyard — a special order shed, a pine shed and another whose function he could not recall.

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