Former NASCAR Busch North Series champion Kelly Moore, the owner of the trucking company R.C. Moore, received a call Sunday evening that no business owner ever wants to receive.
Shortly after 8 p.m., Moore received a call informing him that trucks were on fire at two of his company’s locations in the state of Maine. By the time he arrived at one of the locations in Poland, the fires were out and the damage had been done.
In total, the fires in the town of Poland and Moore’s hometown of Scarborough completely destroyed six cabs as a result of what investigators with the State Fire Marshall’s office are calling an act of “coordinated arson.”
According to Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine department of public safety, the fires were called in just three minutes apart. The first fire in Scarborough was called in at 8:16 p.m. with the second fire being called in at 8:19 p.m.
Speaking from the company’s location in Poland on Monday afternoon, Moore estimated the damages to be roughly $750,000.
“I got a call at about eight o’clock last night that there were trucks on fire at both the Poland location and Scarborough location,” Moore said. “My brother, Shawn, ended up going to the Scarborough location and I came here to the Poland location. When I got here, the fires were pretty much out at the time. All there was (left) was debris from the four trucks that were totaled and the one truck that was damaged.”
With a large fleet of approximately 220 trucks, business went on as usual for R.C. Moore on Monday; however, the late-night incident resulted in a sleepless night for the NASCAR Busch North Series’ winningest driver.
“We just had to displace some drivers around in different trucks and it went on business as usual except for the hectic time of no sleep last night and going through this today,” Moore explained. “It’s been kind of stressful. We feel like we have a good relationship with the communities and the people who work for us, so we’re not quite sure why it happened but hopefully these people will get to the bottom of it.”
During Monday’s news conference, McCausland provided an update on the status of the investigation.
“At this point, we’re looking at this as a likely coordinated arson considering the locale and the timing of both fires, but specifics as far as to where we’re at in the investigation at this point still remains in the investigators hands as they try to pinpoint exactly what they’re dealing with here,” he said.
“There is surveillance video from both locations that is being analyzed. The trucking company has been nothing but cooperative and their IT people are working with fire marshal investigators, looking at that footage to see whether there’s anything there that may help give investigators some of the answers they’re seeking.”
McCausland later went on to say that the case is very unique and unlike anything he’s ever seen before.
“To have two incidents at the same company within minutes apart, I can’t recall anything even remotely similar to what we’re dealing with here.”
R.C. Moore has been owned and operated by the Moore family since 1957 and currently employs approximately 280 employees. In addition to the two Maine locations, the company also houses trucks in Pittston, Pennsylvania and Troutman, North Carolina.
Moore, who is now 58 years old, currently races Super Late Models part-time with the Pro All Stars Series throughout the state of Maine.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Chuck Blacquiere/Sun Journal