Fire crews from several communities battled a massive blaze Monday afternoon that destroyed an apartment complex in Madawaska.

The second and third floors of the building on School Avenue were fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. The Fiddlehead Focus reports all 11 tenants made it out safely, although several pets died in the fire.

An excavator was brought in around 4 p.m. to begin knocking down the walls to keep the flames from spreading. Firefighters from Madawaska, Fort Kent and Grand Isle worked for several hours to extinguish the blaze.

The apartment house, originally a convent, was a total loss. Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

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The American Red Cross is providing lodging for all 11 tenants at the Gateway Motel in Madawaska.

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