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Firefighter Training/ Controlled Burn Of Wabanaki Mall In Perry - Apr. 13, 2013

PERRY, Maine (WQDY NEWS) - A controlled burn took out the old Wabanaki Mall at Perry Corner on Saturday afternoon -- but not before firefighters got some basic fire school training on the site.

The building has been a landmark -- but also become an eyesore at the corner of Routes 1 and 190 in Perry.

As it looked in the mid 1980's

ABOVE: Pottle's garage at Rte. 1 and 190 in Perry Corner-Tom McLaughlin collection.

The site became the Wabanaki Mall, a convenience store and gas station in the 1990's and was closed and reopened at various times over the years. But the place eventually closed for good. The building has been vacant ever since and gotten more dangerous.

ABOVE: The Wabanaki Mall in April 2012-WQDY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Before it burned on Saturday, Perry Fire Chief Paula Frost took her Basic Fire School firefighters to the site for training.

"This is a basic fire school. This is the one that prepares them for structural firefighting. They've got two more days of training and then it'll be live burns and they're qualified for the departments to make entry," Frost said.

"We have teams here from Princeton, Indian Township, Cooper, Pleasant Point, Baileyville, Calais, all the surrounding areas and then I've got a couple of my guys that are training as well. It's a great opportunity."

And after the training and a lunch break, other firefighters returned to Perry Corner and commenced with the controlled burn-WQDY NEWS PHOTOS

ABOVE: Controlled burn at the Wabanaki Mall Saturday afternoon-WQDY NEWS PHOTO

Pleasant Point, Perry and Eastport firefighters as well as Down East EMS were on standby during the controlled burn. Pleasant Point Police and Eastport Police departments assisted with traffic control. Traffic was detoured around part of Route 190 for a time when acrid smoke obsured driver visibility.