By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,616)
On Saturday morning, the Portland Fire Department responded to an emergency call from the tender on the Casco Bay Bridge of a blaze on Great Diamond Island. The multimillion dollar fire gutted the former Army barracks which is the largest remaining building on the historic St. McKinley grounds on the Island. An Inn, about 90% completed, was under construction. The owner has indicated he plans to rebuild this long-time project of his if at all possible.
It took firefighters from Portland, Long Island and Great Diamond Island over 12 hours to extinguish the fire on the Island community off the coast of Portland according to a press release issued by the Fire Department.
“At this point the city has determined the structure is unsafe. The next step is for the developer to secure the property in order to make the area as safe as possible while the investigation continues,” said Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria. LaMoira added: “Investigators are working as quickly as possible to determine the cause which may require days or even weeks to conclude. The massive size of the building, extensive damage and conducting the large number of interviews required will take some time.”
The building was unoccupied and there were no injuries reported. Preliminary damage estimates are between 5 and 9 million dollars.