In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Biddeford History & Heritage Project

Sharing the history of a proud city rising where the water falls

Cities of Smoke and Soot

Burning of the Eagle's Aerie Fraternal Headquarters, Biddeford, 1977

Burning of the Eagle's Aerie Fraternal Headquarters, Biddeford, 1977

Item 99402 info
McArthur Public Library

The headquarters of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie 804 was located res at 57 Birch Street in Biddeford. The building burst into flames on January 17, 1977. According to the Biddeford Daily Journal, the first alarm was reported to the Biddeford Fire Department at 2:29 AM that morning. The two and a half story building ignited due to an explosion inside of the club. Minutes later, another explosion spread the flames and began to cause damage to the adjacent apartment building. A total of 75 firefighters from Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach fought to extinguish the raging fire.

Biddeford and Saco's history is pockmarked by violent and disastrous fires. Without the help of the local communities, these fires would have caused significantly more damage. This is especially true in the cases of the Saco Flats, Grafton Lumber, and Diamond-National. Through these legendary events, the importance of the local community connections and the unquestionably brave firefighters is undeniable. Some of the damage from these fires can still be seen in the cities of Biddeford and Saco. However, without the communal ties that have bound these two cities, the destruction could have been significantly worse, both economically and socially.

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