July 13, 2020

Winds tear roof off Brewer motel; guests relocated

BREWER – High winds Saturday evening caused the red metal roof of the New Stable Inn to become unstable and then rip off in large sections, severing power to the Wilson Street motel and Cozy Inn next door.

The loss of electricity forced the 66 occupants of the two motels, located at 440 and 448 Wilson St., to find other accommodations. Most were moved to nearby hotels.

“The roof on the Stable Inn looked like it had been peeled back like a sardine can,” Assistant City Manager Howard Kroll said Monday. Workers were removing the remaining roof and cleaning up the debris, New Stable Inn owner Farhat Cheema said Monday morning from inside his darkened lobby. “The metal roof company’s insurance is going to cover everything,” he said.

The metal roof was actually a re-roof that was applied within the last year, Cheema said.

“A substantial amount of the metal roof had blown off, and when it blew off it went down into the space between the Stable Inn and Cozy Inn onto the utility pole that supplies the electricity,” Fire Chief Rick Bronson said Monday. “This caused the transformers to go off, which caused the electricity to go off in both motels.”

Brewer Fire Department received the emergency call at 6:16 p.m. and remained at the scene until 9 p.m. Bushra Rana, owner of the Cozy Inn, heard the commotion.

“I heard the sparks and heard the boom” when the roof hit the ground, she said, adding that her business was struck by flying metal.

Without power, fire alarms didn’t work, and the motels had to close, Bronson said. Around 40 people from Cozy Inn were moved along with 26 people from the New Stable Inn.

City leaders arrived at the scene to ensure that the motel occupants, most of whom pay weekly to live at the two establishments, had a safe place to stay, said City Manager Steve Bost.

“Our concern was that we had a number of displaced people,” he said Monday. “We wanted to get these people someplace safe.”

While some of the motel residents were upset about the move, “everybody understood the reasoning,” the city manager said. “It is remarkable that no one was hurt.”

Volunteers from the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross also went to the scene and were prepared to set up an emergency shelter, but didn’t have to, spokeswoman Hillary Roberts said Monday.

“The town was really there and they really stood up and got the ball rolling,” she said.

Bangor Hydro-Electric officials said three wires that run the length of the New Stable Inn were severed.

“We have to fix the wire,” Don King, Bangor Hydro construction planner, said Monday morning pointing to the wires. “We have to replace the whole [piece] or splice it.”

Bangor Hydro completed the work Monday afternoon, and the two Brewer businesses reopened.

Cheema said he’s just happy that no one was hurt.

“This is Mother Nature,” he said. “What can you do?”

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