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Fire flattens Linneus garage

LINNEUS, Maine — A Saturday night blaze flattened a garage/workshop located at 1157 Hodgdon Mills Road.

Bitterly cold temperatures and a garage filled with five automobiles made combating the fire extremely difficult, according to Linneus Fire Chief Mark Ganzel.

Jared McGuire reported the fire when he returned home at around 7:25 p.m. and found the workshop on fire, Ganzel said. Due to the explosive nature of the blaze with so many automobiles inside, and McGuire’s residence located in close proximity, the fire chief opted to contact the Hodgdon Fire Department for mutual aid.

Firefighters arrived on the scene at 7:37 p.m. and found the garage engulfed in flames and immediately began efforts to keep the fire from spreading to the nearby home, Ganzel said.

“After multiple hours of dealing with extreme, below-zero temperatures, and explosions from the burning vehicles, propane tanks and an oil furnace, the Linneus and Hodgdon fire departments were able to contain the fire to the one structure and saved the adjacent residence,” the fire chief said. “Unfortunately, the garage and everything within was a total loss.”

Ganzel said McGuire told firefighters that nobody was inside the garage when the fire broke out. “At this time, there is no known identified cause for this fire,” Ganzel said.

Fighting a fire in sub-zero temperatures was tricky, the chief said. Both departments had one of their engine pumpers freeze up due to the temperature, which was below zero throughout the evening. Some pipes also froze and broke on one of Linneus’ tanker trucks.

Firefighters remained at the scene until 12:30 a.m.

“Assistant Fire Chief John Folsom and the Linneus Fire Department crew, along with Hodgdon, in my opinion did an amazing job saving Mr. McGuire’s residence, with all of the difficulties they experienced,” the chief said.

Heather McGuire, Jared’s mother, said her husband grew up in the home and two of her children were living in the residence at the time of the blaze.

“My worst nightmare was looking out our kitchen (window) and seeing our place across the road on fire and not knowing at that moment where (her children) were,” she said.

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