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Fire Destroys Maine Restaurant

Fire Destroys Maine Restaurant

Nok-Noi Ricker | Bangor Daily News, Maine

HOULTON, Maine – It’s a safe bet that most local residents have sat down for a meal at the Elm Tree Diner, which opened in 1945 and caught fire Sunday night, Fire Chief Milton Cone said Monday afternoon.

The landmark restaurant was extensively damaged by fire Sunday night and is not expected to reopen anytime soon, if at all.

The Fire Department got the call for help at 10:50 p.m. Sunday, and when crews arrived at the Bangor Street restaurant, “we found fire coming out of the kitchen window,” Cone said.

“The fire damage was to the kitchen area but there is smoke and heat damage throughout the building,” he said. “There is extensive damage. The building is probably totally destroyed. It’s still standing, but I’m not sure it can be rebuilt.”

The fire was elusive at times, the 26-year firefighting veteran said.

“Due to the renovations throughout the years, there was some hidden voids” where the fire persisted, keeping firefighters busy until after midnight, Cone said.

Gary Dwyer, the diner owner, was at the scene Sunday night watching the flames eat away at his business. He has insurance, the fire chief said.