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Fire in Pierce Street Building
Updated On: Jul 11, 2012


LEWISTON — A vacant Pierce Street apartment building was the subject of two fires in two hours Saturday, and was damaged by the second.

Lewiston firefighters initially responded to a fire at 158 Pierce St. at around 1:40 p.m., when a neighbor spotted trash on fire near the building's front stairs. That fire was quickly extinguished. Fire investigator Paul Ouellette investigated but couldn't find a cause for that fire. He left around 3 p.m.

Less than an hour later, the second call came in. That fire was inside the building, and it was much worse.

Firefighters from Lewiston and Auburn responded at around 3:40 p.m. As smoke rolled from the windows and roof of the three-story apartment building, Lewiston firefighters chopped away the building's siding and front door. Inside were flames.

Owned by Watkins Property Management, the building was unoccupied and undergoing renovations. Property manager Kristina Bennett said renovations had been finished on the first floor and were nearly complete on the second. As she watched firefighters break through doors, ceilings and walls, she said she believed "the whole building's gone."

After the fire was extinguished, Ouellette estimated the damage to be around $5,000.

Firefighters extinguished the second fire within an hour. Ouellette is still investigating how and where the fire started, though initially he believed it started on the other side of the building's front stairs, in an area separate from the first fire.

"I'm not sure if it's a rekindle," he said. "I doubt it."

The investigation is ongoing.


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Local #785 in Memory of:
Captain Phillip Basinet
1867 - 1909
Private Thomas King
1881 - 1909
 Private John B Byrnes
1872 - 1910
Captain Russell Tarr
1901 - 1949
Private Marcien Vallee
1922- 1949
Captain Willie Mailhot
1904 - 1965
Private Paul Nadeau
1913 - 1966
Lieutenant Emilien Couture
1926 - 1967
Private Gerard  R. Desjardins
1947 - 1982
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