Amish community, Unity neighbors band together to rebuild after fire destroys market
UNITY, Maine (WABI) - Thursday night, fire destroyed the Community Market in Unity.
Owned and operated by Amish families in the area, it was the community that supported the market, and it was the community that was there as the first steps forward were taken.
“Oh, I think we’re a bit overwhelmed,” said Caleb Stoll, owner of the Community Market. “Not everybody got a full night’s sleep last night, but I thought that was to be expected. It was pretty traumatic.”
He’s also the Bishop of the Amish community in Unity.
“You know, nobody was expecting this, so, you know, yeah, I think we’re, I think we’re coping well, but it is quite a thing to deal with.”
Community members are pitching in during this time of need.
The owner of a local construction company running an excavator to clear the rubble.
Don Pendleton is a member of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. He brought by tools to help.
“As you know about, MOFGA relies heavily on a community of volunteers on different things,” he explained. “If you didn’t have volunteers, we wouldn’t have MOFGA. They help us, we’re going to help them. We’ve worked very closely with them. We got a lot of our equipment, a lot of things to do. It’s going to impact us, but not like the Amish community. I have every bit of confidence that this is going to be up and running very quickly. They’re gonna have hundreds of people here and that people want to see what community means, come and watch them put this back together.”
“Yes, we are hoping to rebuild,” said Stoll. “We don’t have insurance, but we probably will depend on donations. And, you know, I guess we’ll probably have to start in slow because there was considerable inventory that was built up over a number of years, so we’ll have to start in slow, but we are committed to rebuilding as soon as we can get the materials together and the weather cooperates. And I would say that, you know, we have the lesson we try to learn from this, and, you know, we are still trying to figure out what could have caused this, but beyond that, you know, beyond anything we could do differently. I think we accept this as something that God has allowed and permitted, and we want to accept that and rise above it. And yeah, I think we’re not discouraged. We want to take one day at a time.”
If you would like to assist them in their efforts to rebuild, a donation can be made to the Community Market through the Downeast Credit Union in Unity.
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