Cause of Fire Determined

The Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office said they have determined the cause of the fire Thursday, March 24 at the Penobscot McCrum facility in Belfast, Maine.

Completed Investigation

After the investigation was completed, the fire was ruled accidental. Officials said they were unable to determine the cause of the fire due to extensive damage.

How The Fire Spread

The Fire Marshal’s Office said they were “unable to determine if the cause of the fire was due to spontaneous combustion of leftover food, or caused by a mechanical issue. The fire started in the area of one of the fryolators, which was located next to a conveyor belt. The fire spread to the exhaust venting system through the roof and extended into the void space between the ceiling and the roof.” 

Suppression System

The area where the fire extended was above the suppression system and the fire spread rapidly into the rest of the building, said the Fire Marshal’s Office, adding that there were many void spaces in the building above the suppression system. This allowed the fire to move quickly under the metal roof. Officials said the building was a mix-construction-built facility made of wood, masonry and steel.

Read the original news story from March 24. 2022.

Maine Department of Public Safety
Maine Department of Public Safety
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Belfast Fire Chief

“Given the size of this property, the rapid spread of the fire and imminent threat of hazardous materials, we are so fortunate that all the employees were accounted for early and safe,” Said Belfast Fire Chief Patrick Richards. “Control and extinguishment of this fire was certainly a team effort and I am grateful for all the Mutual Aid and support that the Belfast Fire Department received throughout this incident. There were more than 60 first responders on scene that went home without any reported injuries."

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