WESTBROOK – Following a Westbrook fire last week that displaced 45 residents of the Dolley Brook condominiums on East Bridge Street, the property manager said a number of families have moved back into the building, but that eight units will have to be completely rebuilt.

Deb Shangraw, the owner and president of Emerald Management, the Westbrook property management company that handles Dolley Brook, said Monday that the fire that spread last Wednesday evening destroyed the middle section of the building.

Dolley Brook features three sections in a two-story brick building, each with eight units. Shangraw said the middle section, units 9-18, is where the fire began.

As of the American Journal’s deadline Wednesday, the source of the fire was still not confirmed, but Westbrook Fire Inspector Michael Corey said Tuesday that it is suspected that the cause was “unattended cooking.”

Shangraw, who arrived on the scene Wednesday when multiple fire crews were battling the blaze, said the sight was “devastating.”

“I was just trying to alleviate as much stress as I could for residents,” she said. “You could see the initial shock and anger on the people’s faces. I was trying to just make it a little easier for the next couple days.”

Firefighters from Westbrook, Gorham, Portland, Falmouth, Scarborough and Windham were called to the three-alarm fire.

In an email to city staff following the fire, Westbrook Public Safety Chief Michael Pardue said it was a “significant challenge that was met head-on by our staff and that of our mutual aid departments. These firefighters performed admirably, quickly stopping an advancing fire.”

While the estimated cost of the damage has not yet been calculated, Shangraw described it as “substantial,” in a range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. She said that in the days following the fire, power was isolated from the middle section and residents of the other 16 units were able to move back into their homes.

“I believe we’ll have an entire gutting from basement to roof and everything in between,” she said, of the eight units. “Those eight families will be displaced for several months.

The American Red Cross of Maine is currently assisting some of the displaced families with emergency accommodations.

Shangraw said they are just in the “beginning stages” of gathering cost estimates for work on the building.


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