A fire Friday night destroyed two apartments and caused smoke damage throughout a 10-unit apartment building on Dinsmore Road in Sidney, displacing more than 20 tenants.

Sidney Fire Chief Richard Jandreau said Saturday that the fire at 179 Dinsmore Road appears to have started at 5:36 p.m. in a meter box on the outside of the older, three-story building. The fire got into the wires and went up through the walls and into the two apartments that ultimately were destroyed, according to Jandreau. The building is uninhabitable because the wires in the rest of the building were affected also, he said.

“All the wires are down to bare copper now,” Jandreau said.

One of the apartments destroyed was in the basement of the building; the other was on both the first and second floors. Two people lived in each apartment, according to Jandreau.

“Everything in there is pretty much gone,” he said.

About 30 firefighters from Sidney, Oakland, Belgrade, Rome, Smithfield, Waterville and Augusta responded and helped knock the fire down quickly, Jandreau said. He said that, had the fire gotten up into the attic, the building would have been gone.

“It was a very close call — a very close call,” he said. “It was a hot, sticky night last night and our guys got exhausted.”

No injuries were reported, according to Jandreau. About 10 cats and dogs in the building were rescued, he said.

Jandreau said he contacted the American Red Cross, which was to meet the displaced tenants at the fire station Saturday to help them with money, food and places to live temporarily. He said they stayed with relatives and friends Friday night.

Delta Ambulance was at the scene and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department helped with traffic control, according to Jandreau.

The building, owned by Guerrette Properties, is insured, he said.

Firefighters left the scene just after 10 p.m. Friday and Jandreau said he went back around 11:30 p.m. and then again Saturday morning to check on the building, to make sure there was no fire.

“It’s totally out,” he said just after 11 a.m. Saturday.

He added that a lot of townspeople want to help the displaced tenants because they know they will not be able to go back into the building until it is repaired, and that could take a while.

 

 

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