MOUNT DESERT — Four artists and the owners of an antique store have filed claims against the town for losses due to the demolition of the historic Joy Building following the Northeast Harbor fire on July 29 of last year. Their claims total $392,600, and are added to the $1 million claim filed against the town by property owners Christiaan and Cody van Heerden.
The Joy Building, valued by the town at $578,097, had recently undergone extensive renovations and housed several apartments, an art gallery and Allen & Walker Antiques.
The antique shop owners have filed a claim for $350,000 against the town. Artists Warren Hill, Louise Bourne, Randy Colbath and Robert Phipps joined the van Heerden’s in seeking damages.
Claims name fire chief Mike Bender as the responsible party. Mr. Bender has said that he made the decision to tear down the Joy Building in order to protect the firefighters and the public.
The July fire originated in a neighboring Main Street business, the Colonel’s Deli, and spread to bordering buildings. Several million dollars in damages were reported.
The potential suit is now in the hands of the town’s insurance carrier, the Maine Municipal Association’s Risk Management Service.