By Michele Richinick, Globe Correspondent
An early morning fire destroyed a topless coffee shop in Maine that created a controversy when it opened in February.
Flames engulfed the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop on Route 3 in Vassalboro at 1 a.m., Fire Chief Eric Rowe said. With the help of nine other fire departments, crews extinguished the three-alarm blaze after battling it for about five hours.
"There is nothing left of the main part of the building where the coffee shop was," Rowe said. "It just went right through the whole main part of it.”
The fire started in a rear building connected to the shop. Rowe said he was unsure what was in the building at the time of the fire.
Fire investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire. No injuries were reported.
The Globe interviewed proprietor Donald Crabtree for a story published in January and he said he was opening the topless coffee because he saw a niche in the sinking economy of the rural community just north of Augusta. Many townspeople, however, worried that the shop would attract similar adult businesses and undesirable visitors.
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