Hulls Cove Business Estimates Fire Damage at Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars 

A pile of wood and metal is all that’s left of a workshop at R.L. White and Son in Hulls Cove. Seven days after a fire at the business, the smell of burnt wood is still in the air, and just by talking to General Manager Mike El-Hajj, you can feel a sense of what they lost. The family business has been around since 1903.El-Hajj explained, “We’ve got a long and extended history of custom millwork. We’ve been intimately involved in a lot of the mansions and upscale summer cottages on the island.”But it’s their most recent history that will affect their future. Last Tuesday, an early morning fire destroyed one of their workshops and everything inside it. Fire crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to other buildings at the business and no one was hurt.”We did have insurance and we will survive, that’s kind of the good news. The bad news is we’re going to take a significant hit from this,” said El-Hajj.That workshop housed some expensive equipment, as well as an inventory of aged, exotic hardwood used in restoration projects.”Mahogany, walnuts, teaks, epays and what not, we had some old growth pine that had been delivered by ship at the turn of the century and some of it frankly is irreplaceable,” said El-Hajj.He estimates the fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Now they’re focused on moving forward. El-Hajj said he knows there will be some changes, but R.L White and Son plans to continue serving the custom home market on Mount Desert Island. He said, “What we look like for the next 100 years, I’m not entirely sure, but we know we want to be here.”