Fires erupt at Pike’s Farm apartment, First & Last Resort Motel

BUSY WEDNESDAY FOR FIREFIGHTERS — Bridgton firefighters were busy last Wednesday, responding to fires at Pike's Farm (above) and the First & Last Resort Motel. (Rivet Photo)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Robert Murphy is trying to adhere to the old saying, “The show must go on,” despite seeing all of his instruments destroyed by fire last week.

Murphy is a musician, known as “Rookie with Rockets.” He was set to go on tour, but a devastating fire last Wednesday afternoon caused extensive damage to his Pike’s Farm apartment.

“I came home to learn that, due to faulty wiring, my television exploded, incinerating my entire living room before the smoke alarms even went off,” said Murphy on his website. “As of now, those (tour) plans I hope to keep as promised, but I’ve lost everything in the fire.”

Items destroyed include an iPad, guitar, laptop, desktop, acoustic guitar, video camera, personal band merchandise such as CDs, stickers and apparel, Mackie mixer, three microphones, furniture and most of his clothing, as well as vital paperwork.

Bridgton Fire Chief Glen Garland said the cause of the fire has been deemed “undetermined” by the state fire marshal.

“The fire marshal determined where the fire started, but was unable to pinpoint the exact cause,” Chief Garland said.

The apartment, Murphy says, was leased to his mother. A number of her personal items were also lost in the fire.

Murphy said he had no renter’s insurance, and pegs the amount of music equipment lost at about $5,000.

To try to get back on his feet and fulfill music commitments, Murphy has launched a website where donations can be made. To date, $255 in contributions have been made. The address is:

Garland said the building housed seven or eight units. Several units sustained some smoke damage, but were able to reopen for occupancy.

It proved to be a busy day for local firefighters. The Pike’s Farm fire erupted around 2 p.m., forcing closure of South High Street.

At 5:17 p.m., firefighters responded to a fire at the First and Last Resort Motel on Route 302.

Bridgton fire officials said careless handling of a woodstove caused a fire inside an apartment, occupied by the motel owner’s son.

Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to rental units. However, the fire did extensive damage to the apartment, Chief Garland said.

Firefighters from six towns responded to the scene. The fire was knocked down within 30 minutes.

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