Cause of Early Morning Blaze at Narrow Gauge Railroad Under Investigation

By Carol McCracken (Post # 426)

Over the weekend a fire broke out at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad. The fire broke out at the bow house – a plywood structure used to store railroad steam engines when they are not in use – at 4 am on Saturday. The railroad is located at 58 Fore Street at Portland Yacht Services.

The bow house was built about 20 years ago by volunteers for the railroad. Plans for the building are available on the Internet. It currently houses locomotive # 7 which is dismanteled because of work being done to its boilers. No serious damage was done to the steam engine.

“The fire started on the water and east end of the building. There is no electricity there either. “It’s pretty strange. Arson has not been ruled out,” said Phin Sprague, Jr. whose family owns the historic Portland Complex. “This time of year we get lots of transients looking for a place to spend a cold night as Saturday night was. Perhaps it was just an accident,” he said.

Captain Keith Gautreau of the Portland Fire Department said he expects to file his investigative report within the next several weeks.