St. John Valley

Frenchville house and workshop destroyed by fire

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — A Frenchville house and workshop are a total loss but firefighters managed to contain a Saturday afternoon fire and prevent it from spreading to nearby structures on Main Street in the town.

There were no injuries to firefighters, residents or pets as a result of the fire that gutted the 284 U.S. Route 1 home of James Bernier.

The Frenchville Fire Department arrived at the scene shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday with 20 volunteer firefighters. Madawaska Fire Department provided mutual aid.

The cause of the fire was electrical, according to Frenchville Fire Chief Peter Parent.

Bernier’s home also contained a woodshop he used to help support his carpentry business.

Route 1 was shut down near the fire scene for about three hours as firefighters battled the blaze.

“We had to shut it down for the safety of the firemen,” Parent said.

C.L. Roy and Sons Inc. of Frenchville provided an excavator to lift fallen building materials while the firefighters sprayed them down with hoses to eliminate smoldering fires potentially contained within.

Chief Parent said he is thankful to all of the firefighters involved, including those from Madawaska, who were especially instrumental in helping to bring much needed water to the scene.

“They really helped a lot,” Parent said.

Parent also expressed his appreciation to the wives of the firefighters who made sandwiches for the crews and to Maine-ly Meat ‘n Potatoes of Grand Isle who also delivered food to the firefighters.

The firefighters cleared the scene at 6:40 p.m.

Bernier’s family members have set up a GoFundMe page.

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