Sept. 01--MILLINOCKET, Maine -- A Labor Day fire displaced 16 people and destroyed a block of apartments on Wassau Street, despite the efforts of four area fire departments, officials said.
One firefighter was being treated at the scene for heat exhaustion as of 5:30 p.m, officials said.
Witness Lisa Hayes said firefighters from East Millinocket, Lincoln Medway and Millinocket battled the fire, which ate into the roof of the two-story wooden structure at 120 Wassau St.
"The building is completely gone. The roof is caved in," Hayes said Monday. "But everyone in the building appears to have gotten out safely."
Millinocket Public Safety Director Steve Kenyon and Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Malcolm did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.
The fire was reported at 1:48 p.m. East Millinocket firefighters were dispatched shortly thereafter, as were Medway and Lincoln firefighters. The American Red Cross' local chapter is finding accommodations for the families, a representative said.
The representative corrected an earlier estimate of the number of people and families who were displaced, saying one person, who came forward hours after the blaze, reported to say he lived at the apartment building.
The families will be staying at the Katahdin Inn, said Hayes, who with friends has established a Facebook page for the families.
"It is still smoldering right now, and we already have donations coming in," Hayes said.
Anyone willing to make donations to help the families or to store the donations is asked to call Hayes at 447-2879.
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