EAST MACHIAS – Just a couple months after opening in a historic restaurant location in East Machias, flames destroyed the Stone Soup Cafe and Market.
“Our mother passed away eight years ago in a fire and so it makes it extra difficult for us,” said Steven Torres, manager and brother of owner Nichole Look.
“We received a knock on the door at about 2 o’clock in the morning from our neighbor,” Look said, recalling how the family was notified about the blaze.
“I don’t know really what I expected. Maybe like a little one somewhere but it was just going pretty heavy by the time we got here,” she said.
The early Tuesday fire gutted the building, which sits on the Machias and East Machias town line, and destroyed everything inside, including items that can’t be replaced.
“There was a curio cabinet that had survived the fire that took mom and Nichole and I spent a couple of months eight years ago scrubbing, sanding and refinishing it,” Torres said. “We did it for her and for us.”
The curio was just inside the entrance.
“I think that bothered us more than any of the other things that were inside the building,” Torres said.
The family has insurance and expects to rebuild, but they worry about their 14 employees who lost their jobs and so have set up a GoFundMe account to help them out.
“Stone Soup — it was more than a name,” Look said. “It’s about community. It’s about a little. You have a little of this and a little of this and if we all get together and put it in a pot — look what we got.
“The concept is still there but the building is definitely not,” she said.
Sgt. Scott Richardson of the State Fire Marshal’s Office said Thursday that the investigation is still ongoing. He added that fire investigators spent part of Thursday at the scene going through the debris.
Torres said fire investigators are concentrating their efforts around an electrical outlet near the wait station.