Probe Into Maine Business Fire Continues

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (AP) -- Three businesses were destroyed in a downtown fire and damages from the Monday blaze were estimated at $1 million.

An investigation continued Tuesday with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms joining.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Dy-No-Mite Boutique on the downtown strip shortly before noon Monday. Smoke plumes billowed high above town and could be seen as far away as Portland.

The fire was the third hit downtown Old Orchard Beach in the past two years.

Biddeford firefighter Paul Rumery fell about 10 feet from a ladder and suffered minor injuries. A spokesperson at Southern Maine Medical Center said Rumery was treated and released from the hospital Monday.

A condominium and retail complex is proposed for the area and Town Manager Jim Thomas said Monday that while the fire was unfortunate, he did not expect development plans to be affected.

``Accidents happen every day,'' he said. ``I have to believe that the owner of this business ... will want to rebuild. Economic development will just continue to move head.''

Similarly, James Harmon, executive director of the Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce, said he was confident.

``The downtown area is built on entrepreneurs and their skills,'' he said. ``We are survivors regardless of what we face, whether it's an off season or a change in the tourism business. We adapt and survive.''

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