GREAT DIAMOND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Portland Fire Department says a call came in around 5:30 Saturday morning, saying there was a "rather large fire" coming from the vicinity of Great Diamond Island. When they got to the scene, they found the building completely engulfed in flames.
City officials say the building was a historic piece of the old Fort McKinley site, and that those buildings pre-dated the American Civil War. According to the State Fire Marshall's office, the building was being renovated by a local contractor to change the buildings to what they call 'hotel-minniums'. Investigators say the renovation was a 44-unit, fifty-one thousand square foot nine-million dollar project and was receiving federal historic tax credits. Investigators say the building is a total loss.
Sgt. Joel Davis of the State Fire Marshall's office said "Where it's a sizable loss, we're (going to) wait until the building...is completely out. We may have to use some heavy equipment to move things. There is just a shell of a building standing right now and it's very dangerous for investigators and fire fighters to be inside it or near it"
Davis went on to state that several more investigators are en route to the scene and hope to begin sifting through the rubble as soon as Sunday morning. The hotel was only a few weeks from completion.
(Photo courtesy: Gino Falconieri)