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Fire destroys Lancaster excavating business, several pieces of equipment

By JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent

January 08. 2018 10:22PM
A fire early Monday morning caused extensive damage at A.B. Excavating in Lancaster. (JOHN KOZIOL/Correspondent)



LANCASTER — A fire early Monday morning destroyed the shop and the offices of A.B. Excavating, causing what owner Allen Bouthillier said was in excess of $2 million damage. No one was injured.

Bouthillier, who founded the business in 1984 in his native Colebrook before building his facility here in 1994 on Route 3 that got a call about the fire from his son, Kory, who had been contacted after a Lancaster Police officer saw flames around 2 a.m.

“He told me we lost everything in the shop and we both broke down,” said Bouthillier, who arrived on scene an hour later.

The company was insured, he said, “but you never have enough.”

Nonetheless, Bouthillier said he is working with his insurance company to make sure that he and his 30 employees have a place to conduct business, probably in the form of a trailer that will be brought to the site.

Everybody reported for work on Monday, Bouthillier said, and there’s plenty of work for them.

Although the fire claimed the 60-by-120 shop and offices, four logging trucks, a skidder, a pick up, GPS systems, pipe lasers, plotters and several computers, Bouthillier thanked firefighters for saving five other vehicles that were charging outside the shop.

He said A.B. Excavating has 60 pieces of equipment so the loss was small in the overall scheme of things and “we’re still in business.”

All that was damaged or destroyed can be replaced, said Bouthillier, with the exception of the memories he had in his office, including photos of his sons Kory and Kyle and several hunting trophies.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s sad,” he said.

Although the fire is under investigation, Bouthillier said he was told there were several possible causes, including lithium batteries, an electrical problem or the building’s waste-oil heating system.

jkoziol@newstote.com


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