Riverside Motor Court recovers after fire

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:02 AM EDT
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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) - After a fire two weeks ago, the Riverside Motor Court is getting back on its feet thanks to community collaboration.

After a fire on July 5th, 14 of Riverside Motor Court’s 18 apartments were left empty, and tenants were moved to the Caribou Inn and Convention Center at one in the morning.

“Repairs are happening, people are moving back in, its really going quite well thanks to the red cross and the city and the people who helped out the tenants during the crisis,” said Kevin Cray, head of operations at TBK Northern Maine Properties.

“I think the hardest thing is all of the variables. Some of the tenants were able to return right away, other tenants units were impacted for a longer period of time so there was a lot of variables,” said Caroline King, executive director of American Red Cross in northern and eastern Maine.

Cray says he lost 7 tenants, many of whom didn’t want to wait for the electrical to get up and running, but otherwise, everyone is moved back in. Two apartments are still under repair, and electrical updates are being made. Cray says the fire was caused by an accidental screw hitting the wiring during renovations

“It’s probably going to be a month or so before were done with repairs but its given us a great opportunity to update the electrical,” said Cray.

“When we conferred on site [with the master electrician], he felt he saw many code violations or maybe not up to code just because they were old,” said Ken Murchison, zoning administrator and code enforcement officer for Caribou. “There were existing fuse boxes that needed to be replaced with modern switches, and we went around and found that smoke detectors weren’t in place like they were supposed to be.”

“The electrical has been refurbished and brought up to code,” added Murchison. “They’re still working on it, so we are expecting to be back and check in again soon.”

Cray says he’s grateful for the community collaboration that helped both the tenants and the motel get back on their feet.

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