Firefighters from multiple towns responded to two structure fires in Palermo that occurred within an hour and a half of each other during the afternoon of Sunday, May 11.

Liberty Fire Chief Bill Gillespie said crews from Freedom, Liberty and Palermo, as well as a helicopter from the Maine Forest Service responded to a report of a structure fire at a camp on Varney Shore Road around 1:30 p.m.

The helicopter was called in to help firefighters identify any potential hot spots and to make sure the fire did not spread into the surrounding woods, Gillespie said.

Gillespie said the building, which is occupied during the summer, was a total loss and officials are attempting to notify the owners of the property.

He said the Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal is investigating the blaze and it is unknown at this time what caused the fire.

While crews were still on scene at the Varney Shore Road property, a second structure fire was reported at a residence at 209 Leeman Arm Road at about 3 p.m. Gillespie said initial reports indicated a brush fire had gotten out of control and spread into the nearby woods.

When firefighters arrived on scene, a two-story barn was fully engulfed in flames. Gillespie said firefighters from Albion, China, Freedom, Montville, Liberty, Palermo and Searsmont responded to the scene and were able to extinguish the fire.

However, Gillespie said the fire destroyed the barn and he was unsure if the building was insured.

Some firefighters were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion but no one was taken to the hospital, Gillespie said.

Fire departments from surrounding towns also provided station coverage for the crews battling the structure fires Sunday afternoon, Gillespie said.