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A.B. Excavating destroyed by early morning fire

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
January 11, 2018
LANCASTER — A total loss for Lancaster's A.B. Excavating located on North Main St in Lancaster happened as a result of an early morning fire on Jan. 8. The Lancaster Fire Department was toned out at about two o'clock in the morning for a report of flames coming from the building.

A motorist driving by the property noticed the smoke and flames and dialed 911. When the Lancaster Fire Department arrived on scene the structure was fully engulfed in flames.

The Cos County Democrat was on scene and spoke with Lancaster Fire Department's Assistant Chief Mike Kopp, who said "We had things set up pretty quickly, fortunately we had a decent water supply. The fire was fairly advanced before we started to knock it down."

It took crews roughly one and a half hours to contain the fire. Roughly two hours later an area re-ignited and crews had to pull their hoses out once more.

Kopp said, "There were no injuries. We were able to move some of the vehicles to save them from damage but some were a total loss. We do feel that the seven degree temperature was in our favor as compared to the weather we were coming off from this weekend. We were able to control icing for the most part and didn't have any major problems with freeze ups."

A fire of this nature requires a lot of man power, Kopp added, explaining "We had a lot of crews show up which was great because we needed to operate a good quantity of hand lines and master streams. I'm glad we had the turn out that we did."

Kopp noted that departments from Colebrook and Beecher Falls made the long drive to assist.

Owner Allen Bouthillier who began his original business in 1984 is in shock and told Kopp that he has worked to build the business over the past 35 years.

Lastly, Kopp said, "Unfortunately, we were unable to save the building and at this point it is undetermined as to how the fire began."

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