Fire destroys nonoperational wood products plant

A fire has destroyed an idled wood products mill in Fryeburg.

Officials say the fire at the Forest Industries mill on Fair Street was reported about noon Thursday. By the time firefighters arrived, the building was engulfed by fire and thick black smoke. No injuries were reported.

Town officials say the mill was owned by the Saunders Brothers company and sold at auction in the spring. According to the Sun Journal of Lewiston, the contents of the building were auctioned off two weeks ago and the building and land are now for sale.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.


‘Damage extensive’ in home where heater caused fire

A fire caused by a portable heater in a basement destroyed an unoccupied home early Thursday morning.

A police officer passed the house at 270 West Gray Road around 1 a.m., said Gray Fire Chief Galen Morrison. When firefighters arrived minutes later, smoke was rising from all four sides of the two-story farmhouse.

It took firefighters about an hour and 20 minutes to knock down the flames, which extended from the basement all the way through the roof. The effort included about 45 firefighters, police and rescue personnel from Gray, Windham, New Gloucester and Cumberland. No one was injured.

“Everyone did a really good job,” Morrison said. “Unfortunately, the damage was extensive.”

The state Fire Marshal’s Office investigated and determined that a portable kerosene heater in the basement had ignited some nearby chairs. The house was for sale and was not occupied. The basement heater was running to keep the water tank and pipes from freezing.


Police say they’ve arrested longtime tollbooth scofflaw

State police say they have arrested a Saco man who evaded tolls on the Maine Turnpike for three years.

Trooper Steven Stubbs arrested Mathieu Bosse, 23, last week outside the Ramada Inn in Saco, which is near the turnpike.

Stubbs said Bosse drove his car off the turnpike and down a walkway leading to the inn, then drove between a light fixture and a large rock. Stubbs said Bosse had been using that route as an exit to avoid the nearby tollbooth.

Bosse was charged with theft and driving to endanger. Turnpike authorities said Bosse still owes more than $100 in tolls.


State will receive $500,000 as part of AIG settlement

Maine officials say the state will get $500,000 as part of American International Group Inc.’s agreement to pay more than $100 million in fines and other penalties to resolve claims that it violated workers’ compensation regulations.

Officials in other states announced last week that the proposed settlement with AIG and its insurance affiliates would close out a probe into allegations that the insurance giant under-reported $2.1 billion in workers’ compensation premiums.

The settlement calls for regulators in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to split the $100 million in fines.

Maine Insurance Superintendent Mila Koffman said Thursday that the size of the fine reflects the severity of the violations.


Wildlife rehabilitation center takes in orphaned moose

A motherless baby moose that was found wandering around a ski area has a new home at a wildlife rehabilitation center in western Maine.

The orphaned moose had been seen around the Saddleback Mountain ski area since October. It was dubbed “South Branch Suzie” because it frequented the resort’s South branch skiing area.

Saddleback officials say they always saw the moose alone, and assumed its mother was nearby. But lately, Suzie had been showing up in condo doorways and people had taken to petting her and posing with her for pictures.

Jenn Farmer, wife of Saddleback’s general manager, said the Second Chance Wildlife rehabilitation center in New Sharon has taken in the moose. Suzie is expected to stay there until spring, when she will be released back into the wild.


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