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October 17, 2018

Owner says Mechanic Falls mill was uninsured at time of blaze

Courtesy / Mechanic Falls Facebook page
Courtesy / Mechanic Falls Facebook page
The former Marcal Paper Mill in Mechanic Falls, destroyed by fire on Sunday, was uninsured, the building's owner told the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Charles Starbird, owner of the former Marcal Paper Mill that was destroyed by fire on Sunday, told the Lewiston Sun Journal he did not have insurance on the buildings.

"People in town, I'm sure they think Chuck and (his wife) Colleen just made $20 million bucks," he told the newspaper. "I wish that story to be true, but there was zero insurance on that complex."

Starbird said the 380,000-square-foot building was last appraised at $8 million, the newspaper reported.

At least three businesses renting space in the building lost property in the blaze at the 1850s-era mill building: Corcoran Environmental Services, which recycles plastic; Maine Cycle of Auburn, which used the space as a warehouse for motorcycles and parts; and Northe Woodworking, a cabinet manufacturer.

Cause of the fire remains unknown, the Sun Journal reported.

Firefighters from 19 departments — including Oxford, Norway, Paris, Casco, Poland, New Gloucester, Auburn, Bowdoin, Bath and Lisbon — assisted in battling the blaze or serving as backup at area fire stations on Sunday.

Marcal, a Soundview Paper Co. based in Elmwood Park, N.J., closed its Mechanic Falls mill in the fall of 1981. It's a leading manufacturer of recycled tissues manufactured without chlorine bleaching, fragrances or dyes, according to the company's website.

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