Fire at Landmark Caribou Church Building Deemed ‘Suspicious’
A fire that damaged a section of an historic church building in Caribou Thursday afternoon is under investigation.
The Caribou Fire Department responded to the blaze at 3 Grove Street around 3:30 p.m. with 11 crew members and three trucks, according to Capt. Scott Jackson. Smoke could be seen coming from a back office when crews arrived and firefighters broke a window to get at the flames.
Fire damage was contained to a single room, although there was smoke and water damage elsewhere in the building, including the basement, Jackson said. Caribou firefighters remained on scene until early Thursday evening while the Presque Isle Fire Department covered the station.
The blaze has been deemed suspicious and the Maine State Fire Marshal's office has been called in to investigate the cause, Capt. Jackson said.
The Caribou Church Building is Steeped in History
Built in 1867, the property on Grove Street is the oldest church building in Caribou, and served as the meeting place for various denominations. It was shared by Caribou Methodists, Baptists and Universalists in the early years, according to historical records.
It became the Unitarian Universalist parish in the late 19th century until it was closed and put up for sale a few years ago. The landmark building is now used mostly for social events and other group meetings for the Caribou community.
UPDATE: A Connor Township man has been charged with arson in connection with Thursday's fire at Caribou's oldest church. Read Full Story Here.