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Jan 06, 2015
2nd Alarm 168 Bartlett St LEWISTON — An early-morning fire damaged part of a two-and-a-half-story, three-unit apartment building at 168 Bartlett St. on Friday, displacing as many as seven people.  No one was hurt in the fire, which started just before 2 a.m, Lewiston fire Chief Paul LeClair said. The fire began and ended in a second-floor bedroom, LeClair said.
Mar 27, 2014
B platoon crews extinguished a fire on Park St this morning, great job by all!
Fire damages Park St. residence in Lewiston. More details will be filed at when available.

Jan 01, 2014
Members of C-Shift Fight Basement Fire at 15 Dawn Ave LEWISTON, Maine —A fire investigator concluded that improper disposal of smoking materials caused a fire in a basement on 15 Dawn Ave. in Lewiston on Sunday. No one was injured in the fire, which was reported at 7:36 a.m., Captain Paul Fournier of the Lewiston Fire Department said.
Jan 01, 2014
Residents escape overnight fire in Lewiston apartment building LEWISTON — Fire officials say it appears as if everyone has escaped safely from a three-alarm apartment building fire in Lewiston. The fire in the 32 Oxford St. building — near the Lewiston House of Pizza — was reported Friday morning.
Dec 30, 2013
Engine 7 Ladder 1 & 415 respond mutual aid to S.Broad St in Auburn for a 2nd Alarm apartment fire. A fire started by improper use of a kerosene heater caused damage to the second floor of this apartment building. Always take time to be safe with all heating appliances during this winter season.
Dec 07, 2013
Lewiston firefighters douse garage fire Sunday night Lewiston-Auburn |  Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm LEWISTON — A garage on Pierce Street behind Poirier's Market caught fire Sunday evening around 9:25 p.m., closing portions of Walnut and Pierce streets.
Dec 07, 2013
Good work by the crews on B shift yesterday morning! "Lewiston firefighters were able to knock down a fire that started on the back deck of a home at 5 Larrabee Road in Lewiston on Sunday morning. Initial reports from firefighters on the scene was that a bucket of hot ashes from a wood stove was left unattended and ignited the exterior of the building.
Jun 26, 2013

LEWISTON — A lightning strike on the roof of a condo ignited a fire that drove a family from their home Tuesday evening. At about 5 p.m., crews from the Lewiston Fire Department responded to a fire at a condominium unit at 29 Ledges Court.

When crews arrived, smoke and flames were showing at the back of the building, said Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette.

He said two units were involved, 29 and 27. In the course of firefighting operations, No. 29 sustained the heaviest damage, with fire damage to the roof and water damage below.

According to Ouellette, the water damage in 29 runs down the center of the unit from the roof to the basement, making the home unlivable.

No. 27, according to Ouellette, sustained minor damage. "Luckily, we just had to cut a (small) hole in the roof," he said, adding that his crew would seal up the hole until it can be repaired.

Ouellette said damage to 27 was limited to some drywall, a light fixture and three outlets.

Lightning-related storms can be "very fast and very sudden," Ouellette said, and if you can hear the thunder, you are already in the "strike zone."

Randy Mitchell, owner of No. 29, was home with his 5-month-old son when the condo was struck. "I caught it right out of the corner of my eye," Mitchell said, describing a loud bang preceding the flash.

Mitchell said he was getting ready to feed the baby when his home was struck. Suspicious that the strike appeared to shut off his television, Mitchell went to investigate.

Climbing the stairs, he said he started to smell smoke. The smell became stronger when he reached the second floor.

That's when Mitchell grabbed the baby and his dog and ran outside, first calling 911, then his fiancee, Kimberly Dube, who was at work.

Water caused heavy damage to the baby's room, which was in the back where the fire broke out. "Thank God, he wasn't in there," Mitchell said.

As for the misfortune of having his home struck by lightning, Mitchell said, "You always hear about it — never thought it would happen."

The family will be staying with Dube's parents in Greene while repairs are made.

May 12, 2013
  Dozens rousted in fast-spreading fire LEWISTON —Fire investigators were searching for a cause on Saturday and relief organizations were trying to find space for displaced tenants after fire swept through several buildings on Bartlett and Pierce streets late Friday.
May 12, 2013
Firefighters douse Lisbon Street fire in Lewiston  LEWISTON — Lewiston and Lisbon firefighters resonded to a structure fire at 379 Lisbon St. just after 3 p.m. Tuesday Smoke was reported coming from the four-story apartment bulding next to the Lewiston Pawn Shop. The sprinkler system was activated, keeping the fire in check until firefighters arrived.
May 12, 2013
Fire destroys 3 Lewiston buildings LEWISTON — Three, three-story apartment buildings in the downtown area were destroyed in a fire late Monday afternoon that left 75 people homeless and caused minor injuries to some firefighters, officials said. The fire started in a three-story building at 105 Blake St. just before 4:30 p.m.
May 12, 2013
Two buildings destroyed, one damaged Monday in another Lewiston downtown fire LEWISTON — A fire on Monday morning destroyed two vacant buildings on Bartlett Street and damaged a third apartment building on Horton Street. It was the third major fire in a week in Lewiston's downtown. Firefighters responded after the 2:46 a.m.
May 12, 2013
Fast-moving woods fire burns 20 acres in Lewiston LEWISTON — Firefighters, many of whom were fighting massive structure fires downtown Monday night, responded Tuesday to a fast-moving, 20-acre brush fire off College Road. The fire along power lines near Bowdoin Drive was reported at about 1:15 p.m.
Mar 31, 2013

Lewiston firefighters battle Spring Street blaze

LEWISTON — Firefighters battled an apartment fire on the second floor of a Spring Street building at noon Friday.

The blaze was not accidental, fire investigators said later in the day. By Friday night, the cause was being investigated by Lewiston Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette and the police department's Criminal Investigation Division.

Jessica Kuvaja said she called 911 when she saw smoke billowing out of two windows on the second floor at the back of the three-unit apartment building.

Kuvaja, who stood barefoot on the sidewalk, said she was alone in the building when she heard a sustained beeping sound, but she dismissed it as a truck backing up.

She later saw smoke coming from the stairwell and ran outside.

Kuvaja lives with her husband and two children on the first floor. A woman lives with two children in the front apartment of the second floor.

Misty Cornell lives in the rear apartment on the second floor, according to fire officials. Witnesses said that while firefighters were battling the blaze, Cornell went to the Lewiston Police Department on Park Street to talk to investigators about the fire.

Cornell's second-floor rear apartment was heavily damaged, fire officials said, and will have to be repaired before she can go back into it.

The fire, classified as suspicious, remained under investigation.

Mar 25, 2013
Smoky fire in Lewiston under control early Sunday morning Lewiston-Auburn | Sunday, March 24, 2013 LEWISTON — Firefighters were at the scene of a smoky fire at 154 Pine St. early Sunday morning. The fire started on either the second or third floor and was "very, very smoky" when crews arrived, Lewiston police Lt. David St. Pierre said at the scene.
Feb 08, 2013
Lewiston bakery fire doused; business will resume Lewiston-Auburn |  Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm LEWISTON — Fear not, lover of Italian sandwiches and baked goods. The Italian Bakery on Bartlett Street will be open for business after a fire on the roof at closing time Wednesday.
Jan 31, 2013
LEWISTON, ME - Lewiston fire crews are determining the cause of an early morning fire at an apartment building at 166 Blake Street. Crews had the fire knocked down within 15 minutes of arriving on the scene and contained the fire to a bedroom room in a second floor apartment. One family has been displaced because of the fire and there is water damage to the first floor.
Jan 25, 2013

LEWISTON — Firefighters made quick work of a fire on Pleasant Street late Thursday, but crews were expected to remain at the scene into Friday morning searching for a cause

When fire crews arrived at 48 Pleasant St. at about 10:20 p.m., fire was blowing from the windows of a second-floor porch.

The apartment was occupied at the time, a witness said, but it appeared everybody got out of the building without harm.

The two-story apartment house is near the corner of Pleasant and Webster streets. Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames and spared damage to nearby buildings. The fire was declared under control at 10:40 p.m.

Crews remained at the scene later Thursday night, snuffing out hot spots and preparing to begin an investigation

Jan 15, 2013
              LEWISTON — Firefighters put out a flaming snowmobile and a garage fire Saturday with no reported injuries. The snowmoblie fire happened first, on a railroad bed adjacent to 1789 Lisbon St. "A couple of gentlemen out for a ride," said Lt. David Gideon. "(One) was riding, saw flames and got off of it.
Jan 15, 2013
Vacant building burns on Gamage Avenue in Auburn   AUBURN — A 2½-story apartment house went up in flames on Gamage Avenue Wednesday, and fire investigators say the blaze is suspicious.   Witnesses reported seeing flames shooting from the second floor of the building at about 3:30 p.m.
Jan 15, 2013
AUBURN — A fire in an abandoned warehouse on Turner Street on Wednesday likely was caused by squatters who were trying to keep warm, fire investigators said. The 4:30 p.m. blaze on the second floor of the former Morin Fine Furniture & Refinishing shop forced the closure of several key streets as police and fire crews rushed to the scene. No one was hurt in the fire.
Dec 21, 2012

Fire hits Horton Street apartment house

LEWISTON — Fire gutted an apartment house on Horton Street Tuesday afternoon and investigators say a candle caused the blaze. Several people called 911 at about 4 p.m. to report flames shooting from the building at 118-120 Horton St. Lewiston fire investigator Paul Ouellette was one of the first on the scene. He said the building was fully involved when he arrived. "Fire was blowing right out the windows and doors," he said. "It was going good." The fire started in a first-floor living room, fire officials said. A first-floor tenant, who left a candle burning in the living room, was in the shower when the fire caught, Ouellette said. He got out safely. A family of four on third floor also got out safely. Ouellette estimated there was $100,000 damage. Tenants are staying at a local hotel, thanks to the Red Cross. One teenager said he was walking by on his way to basketball practice when he spotted the orange glow of fire from across the street. Soon after, he said, the windows shattered and dark smoke poured out. Fire crews knocked down the flames within minutes of arriving, saving apartment houses on either side of the burned tenement. According to city assessing records, the building is owned by Lewiston-based Blue Star MultiFamily LCC and is valued at $73,780

Dec 17, 2012

Second Alarm Fire at 1153 Main Street

LEWISTON — A house fire Sunday afternoon closed Route 202 and extensively damaged the home, but the owner is already at work on repairs and planned to stay. When the Lewiston Fire Department was called to 1153 Main St. at about 2 p.m. Sunday, two stories of an exterior wall and several rafters were involved. Homeowner Forest Farnum, who lives there with his son, grandson and uncle, said he suspected a chimney fire. He said that he's been burning fires there for years with no problem. But in the past the suspect chimney had caught the eye of many from the road, prompting a call to the fire department. Many times when lighting this particular chimney, Farnum said he would give a courtesy call to the Lewiston Fire Department. This time was different, "When we smelled that smoke, we got right on the phone." "The chimney may have moved with the frost," said Farnum, who has lived in the home since 1989. The fire was quickly extinguished by fire crews and a fast-thinking Farnum. "We opened up the ceiling and saw some rafters glowing," Farnum said, describing how he and his uncle quickly grabbed a hose to begin dousing the area. He said he was impressed with the Lewiston Fire Department and the care they had taken in keeping the damage to his home and belongings to a minimum. Farnum considers himself lucky, speaking of the victims of Friday's shooting in Connecticut. The dripping ceiling and burnt remains of his kitchen did nothing to dampen his spirit as he began to stuff insulation in a hole beside his chimney. "Drywall is cheap." he said, smiling. Farnum had already managed to run limited power to his house via a camper parked outside and had lighted a heater to fend off the cold of the snowy evening. Fire officials will return tomorrow to further investigate the exact cause of the fire

Oct 18, 2012

Lewiston Firefighters Battle 3rd Alarm Fire on Pierce St. 

Oct 11, 2012
 Kitchen Fire 25 Howe St. Elizabeth Hunt rocks her 2-month-old baby as firefighters quickly extinguish a kitchen fire in a second-floor apartment at 25 Howe St. in Lewiston at around 11 a.m. Wednesday. According to fire Chief Paul Leclair, the blaze started on the stove and spread to cabinets above but was extinguished before spreading.
Sep 25, 2012
      Lewiston Firefighters Rescue Victim at Apartment Fire   LEWISTON — Three people were taken to an area hospital for minor smoke inhalation as the result of an early morning fire at an apartment building on Lisbon Street.   Lewiston fire Capt. John Daniels said the blaze was reported at 3:15 a.m.
Sep 11, 2012
Fire hits Formed Fiber in Auburn     Staff Report   Lewiston-Auburn |  Saturday, September 8, 2012 AUBURN — Fire crews were at Formed Fiber Technologies early Saturday morning mopping up after a blaze that burned inside the building late Friday night.
Jul 27, 2012
 Porch fire in Lewiston   Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal   Lewiston firefighter Rob Watson uses a hand-held extinguisher to make sure a porch fire is out on Howe Street in Lewiston on Wednesday morning. When the call came in, firefighters were on Wood Street at another porch fire. Both fires were put out by residents or neighbors.
Jul 11, 2012
  RUSS DILLINGHAM/SUN JOURNAL   A Lewsiton firefighter drags hose into Blake Street Towers during Monday's fire.
Jul 11, 2012
LEWISTON — Authorities in Lewiston are investigating a late Monday afternoon blaze on Oxford Street. What caused the log to catch fire in the first place remained under investigation Monday night by Ouellette and a detective with the Lewiston Police Department.The fire was reported at 5:08 p.m. at 32 1/2 Oxford St. by an employee of Lewiston House of Pizza.
Jul 06, 2012
Firefighters battle Lewiston fire   Christopher Williams and Bonnie Washuk, Staff Writers   Lewiston-Auburn |  Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 11:11 am LEWISTON — Firefighters worked for hours Tuesday to put out a fire that involved three buildings in the area of the city known as Little Canada.
Jul 02, 2012
Lewiston & Auburn Firefighters battle 2nd Alarm Fire   AUBURN — Three teens from Germany are being credited with saving lives Sunday morning after running into a burning apartment building, pulling the fire alarm and knocking on doors to alert residents to a fire at Auburn Mall Apartments. "We have to do it.
May 03, 2012
  Firefighters battle two Twin Cities fires within half-hour Tuesday night   A fire investigator on Wednesday blamed a faulty kitchen recessed light fixture that short-circuited for a Lewiston fire late Tuesday.     By Wednesday afternoon, an investigation into the cause of a fire at an Auburn home around the same time was ongoing.
Apr 17, 2012

Lewiston Fire Department Lt. Kevin Roux hoses down a shed interior behind a house on Lasse Avenue in Lewiston on Monday afternoon. Capt. Wallace Veilleux said the fire was called in at 5:31 p.m. Monday. He said the blaze started in a grassy area behind the shed, but quickly spread to the structure. The fire is under investigation by the department's fire investigator, Paul Ouellette. He said the 3-year-old daughter of the couple who lives at the home discovered the blaze and immediately ran to her parents and told them to call 911.

Apr 01, 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.


Mar 01, 2012

Lewiston apartment house fire rousts tenants

Published on Thursday, Mar 1, 2012 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Thursday, Mar 1, 2012 at 12:12 am

LEWISTON — Tenants fled a two-story apartment house at 160 Pine St. Wednesday night after a trash can went up in flames on the first floor.

Firefighters were called to the scene at about 6 p.m. after smoke filled both floors of the building near the corner of Howe Street.

A man who lives on the second floor was at home when he smelled and saw smoke filling the halls.

"I told my wife to call the Fire Department," he said. "When a building is filling up with smoke, you don't want to mess around."

Fire crews were there moments later and the first firefighters in found the source of the blaze on the first floor.

Fire crews made quick work of the flames and then set up fans to clear the rest of the building.

Fire investigator Paul Ouellette was called to investigate the cause. Meanwhile, police questioned the man who lives on the first floor, who was recently evicted.

No charges were filed.

According to Ouellette, the fire started in a metal trash can in the enclosed laundry room. However, the cause of the blaze remained under investigation.

Damage was confined to the laundry room, Ouellette said.

Nobody was hurt but traffic came to a halt along Pine Street as police closed it at Howe Street.

Mar 01, 2012

Crews Battle Early-Morning Fire In Lewiston


POSTED: 5:15 am EST February 23, 2012

UPDATED: 8:21 am EST February 23, 2012

Firefighters from Lewiston and Auburn battled an early-morning fire at 2 Summer St. in Lewiston. The fire was reported around 4 a.m. Thursday. The building is located near Central Maine Medical Center. Lewiston firefighters told News 8 the building was a vacant residential trailer, but it did have electricity. The trailer also had several additions on it, and firefighters said those additions made it difficult to get inside and fight the fire. The fire was mostly contained to the attic. Firefighters say they don't believe the fire is suspicious.

Read more:

Feb 05, 2012


Lewiston man injured in house fire


LEWISTON — A man living at 72 Wellman St. in Lewiston was taken to a local hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries Saturday night, fire officials said.

Firefighters knocked down a blaze that appeared to start in the basement near the chimney and burned through the floor of the single-story ranch, causing "serious" damage, Fire Chief Paul LeClair said.

The flames burned through structural supports, making the floor unsafe. Firefighters cut a hole in the roof to ventilate the smoke and brought the fire under control shortly before 9 p.m.

"Everybody's out. Everybody's safe," LeClair said. A fire investigator was en route to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.

Jan 16, 2012




LEWISTON — A home at 4 Loon Drive was heavily damaged by fire Monday afternoon. No one was home at the time. A dog had been in the building, but was reported to be safe, police said. The owner of the one-and-a-half story building, Richard Bradstreet of Wales, told police that his daughter and son-in-law were living there but had been out of town. A neighbor called 911 shortly before 1 p.m. A neighbor reported seeing flames shooting from the building's roof at about 12:45 p.m. Neighbor Jeanne Raymond, who lives at 3 Loon Lane, said she saw the fire from her window. “I saw a lot of smoke and some flames,” she said. “The house is gone. I feel bad for them.” When the fire broke out a truck was parked in the yard, she said. “I was worried someone was in there. I'm so happy they're all OK,” she said. Bradstreet owns other properties in the area, she said. Raymond said she knows Bradstreet's daughter and son-in-law. “My heart goes out to them. They're a nice family. You couldn't ask for better people.” Power to the street was shut off as emergency crews worked. Lewiston police Lt. Marc Robitaille said the Lewiston Fire Department's fire investigator is expected to comb through the remains later Monday once firefighters have suppressed the fire to determine its cause and origin.

Dec 15, 2011


Bathroom Fire Being Investigated

Published on Thursday, Dec 15, 2011 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Thursday, Dec 15, 2011 at 12:12 am


LEWISTON — Fire officials were investigating an evening blaze Wednesday that apparently started in a bathroom at Gateway Apartments on Lisbon Street. Fire crews were first called out at about 9 p.m. after smoke and flames were spotted in an apartment on the third floor. Firefighters who rushed into the building found a small fire in the bathroom. They were able to snuff it out before it spread to other parts of the building. Police were tasked with rounding up tenants as part of a building evacuation. In the middle of that process, firefighters reported the fire was out. Nobody was hurt. Smoke ejectors were brought into the building and a fire investigator was called to the scene. The cause of the blaze remained under investigation late Wednesday night. Gateway Apartments is at 11 Lisbon St., is near the corner of Main Street.


Dec 07, 2011

Woman, Child Ousted From Orange Street Home After Fire

LEWISTON — A smoky fire ousted some Orange Street residents Wednesday afternoon. Wendy Bryce, 42, and 3-year-old Harmony Nelson were the only occupants in the duplex at 24 Orange St. when police responded to reports of smoke at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Neither was injured in the blaze. Fire crews had the fire out and were monitoring it for hot spots by 2:10 p.m. Lewiston Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette said Wednesday afternoon that it was too early to say where the fire started, or why. The fire blackened the back of the building and burned away an exterior stairway. Ouellette said he'd be able to investigate the fire and to estimate damage to the building once fire crews had cleared the scene. The fire appeared to start in the back patio of the first floor. Bryce said she was baby-sitting the 3-year-old for her former boyfriend, Jimmy Nelson, the owner of the duplex. She had just put the child down for a nap and was doing dishes when she heard a knock at the door. "It was the police, and then they came and got us out of there," she said. The child was taken to a neighbor's house. Building owner Nelson, a driver for Coca-Cola, was called. Nelson's 5-year-old daughter, Summer, was in school at the time of the fire. "I guess there is nothing else for us to do but find a place to sleep tonight and call the insurance company," Nelson said. He said he used the back porch as storage. "There was nothing back there but some bags and maybe a Walmart bag with a plastic litter box I was planning to take back to the store," Nelson said. "There really was nothing back there."


Nov 02, 2011




Lewiston fire leaves at least 10 homeless

Published on Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011 at 12:12 am 

LEWISTON — Joshua Hickey Sr. had finished cooking dinner for him and his son and started a pot of coffee when the lights cut out. He took the little boy down to the basement and reset the fuse box. When they got back to their third-floor apartment, it had filled with smoke.

Hickey stood on the sidewalk outside 279 Pine St. an hour later, holding the 3-year-old out in the cold, watching the firefighters, hoping they would have something to go home to.

"I don't know what to do," he said. "I can't afford to lose anything. Anything."

Crews from Lewiston and Auburn responded Tuesday after Hickey reported smoke in the white, three-story, three-apartment building at 5:55 p.m. Heavy smoke could be seen from the street but no flames.

At least 10 people were left homeless. The American Red Cross helped put some up for the night.

"It was pretty much a smoldering fire, electrical in nature," fire Capt. Paul Fournier said after leaving the scene late in the night.

An investigation into the cause will continue Wednesday. Paul Soracco owns the building.

Fournier said everyone had safely left the building by the time firefighters arrived. He said damage was extensive to the third floor: "We put a couple holes in the roof."

Around dinnertime, a woman who said she lived on the second floor had been at the park with her children and came back to find the house surrounded by firetrucks.

Hickey said his family had lived in the building two years. He was grateful that his wife and 2-year-old daughter weren't home and outside on the sidewalk with him.

Smoke seemed to come heaviest from the bathroom, Hickey said. After he and Josh made it outside, he made a second dash back into the building for coats, boots and the cat.

He told firefighters about two hunting rifles in the apartment, worried the heat might set off ammunition.

"I would have grabbed my guns," he said. Hickey patted his son's back. "My main priority's right here."


Sep 18, 2011

Sep 18, 2011


Jun 05, 2011
Auto dealership burns following explosions

LEWISTON — A series of explosions rocked Sabattus Street Friday night as a car dealership garage went up in flames at about 8:30 p.m.

Neighbors said they heard several small blasts before thick, dark smoke was seen pouring from the four-bay garage at the back of L-A Auto at 733 Sabattus St.

"I was watching TV," said Brenda Russell, whose backyard faces the dealership. "I thought I was hearing firecrackers at first. I looked out and there was black, billowing smoke coming out of the building."

A short time later, flames were seen licking out of one of the bays in the back of the garage, witnesses said. More explosions were heard from inside the structure.

"It just kept popping," Russell said. "It was so loud. I thought, 'OK, those aren't firecrackers.'"

Fire crews were on the scene within minutes. By then, thick smoke was pouring over the garage. Firefighters who first approached the building were cautioned that there were explosives inside.

The fire seemed concentrated at one corner of the building where the siding was melted from the heat of flames. Firefighters got the flames snuffed out and then entered cautiously.

There were no reports of injuries.

The source of the explosions was not immediately clear. There was at least one vehicle inside the garage and presumably, a variety of chemicals.

While firefighters battled the fire, dozens of spectators gathered around the scene. Most said they were drawn by the sudden appearance of smoke and the arrival of fire crews.

"I didn't hear nothing," said one man who lives in an apartment next to the car dealership. "Just looked outside and there was all this."

In the lot next to the burning garage, closer to Sabattus Street, nearly three dozen cars appeared to have been unaffected by the fire.

L-A Auto is across the street from Tim Hortons, a short distance from the Hannaford supermarket.

A fire investigator was called to the scene as firefighters continued to battle thick smoke inside the garage. The cause of the fire was not known. An investigation was expected to continue into Saturday morning.

Apr 25, 2011

Store's contents destroyed by early morning fire

LEWISTON — A downtown business was declared a total loss Sunday after an early morning smoldering fire attributed to overloaded extension cords destroyed its inventory.

Lewiston fire Capt. Tim Myers said that a report of smoke on the second floor of 258 Lisbon St. came in around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. The African Store is located on the first floor of the brick building between Chestnut and Pine streets. No one was injured in the blaze.

According to Myers, crews did not discover any fire on the second floor of the structure and actually searched other floors of the multistory building before discovering the blaze on the first floor inside the store after feeling the storefront windows.

Myers said the cause of the smoldering fire was determined to be misuse of extension cords. He said upon entering the store fire crews found multiple extension cords that were overloaded. Most of the damage was caused by smoke and heat inside the store, but the structure itself is considered repairable.

Myers said the building is owned by Emilio Andoniades but did not know if he is the store owner as well. The upper floors of the building are apartments, but Myers did not know if any of them were occupied.

About 20 firefighters from Lewiston and Auburn responded to the early morning fire and cleared the scene about 6 a.m.




Apr 25, 2011

Lewiston apartment fire caused by children


Apr 24, 2011


Lewiston Firefighters Douse 2 Fires 

Lewiston firefighters battled a morning and afternoon fire on Sunday, both with determined causes. Two young boys playing with fire started the afternoon two-alarm fire fire at 153 Bartlett St., said Investigator Paul Ouellette of the Lewiston Fire Department. The bed caught fire and spread to the room. He had no information about whether the fire was started by matches or a lighter. The two brothers playing with fire were between six and seven years old. The apartment had heavy damage and many possessions were lost, Ouellette said. They lived in an eight family apartment, but only two apartments were occupied. The first floor, front apartment was occupied and had heavy damage, said Captain Tim Myers of the Lewiston Fire Department. The other occupied apartment had no damage. Fire blew out of the first floor windows, but was contained to the building. No one was injured. In the second call, an overloaded extension caused a fire that destroyed a Lisbon Street business. The building at 258 Lisbon Street had a store on the first floor and apartments above, Myers said. The store was called the African Store. Smoke spread throughout the building in the fire, which was reported at 4:38 a.m. No one was injured, he said. Firefighters cleared the area around 6 a.m.



Apr 18, 2011

No one hurt in Eustis Street fire




LEWISTON —About 20 firefighters from the Twin Cities responded early Sunday afternoon to a basement fire at a home on Eustis Street.

Capt. Victor Gaudreau of the Lewiston Fire Department said that the blaze at 31 Eustis St. was reported about noon on Sunday. The home is owned by James Jordan. No one was injured in the fire, and two dogs and two cats also made it out unharmed.

Gaudreau said the blaze started in the basement of the home near a wood stove. He said firefighters knocked down the flames quickly, thus containing fire damage to the basement, a wall where the fire spread and the floor area near the stove. Firefighters also had to break a hole in the roof of the two-story home to ventilate the house, according to Gaudreau.

Investigator Paul R. Ouellette with the Lewiston Fire Department was called to the scene along with an electrical inspector to investigate. Ouellette said that it was determined that the fire started in a wooden box near the wood stove.

Apr 08, 2011

Dog Alerts Sleeping Couple To Fire In Lewiston

Everyone Escapes Fire That Heavily Damages Lisbon Street House

 POSTED: 5:19 am EDT April 8, 2011
UPDATED: 7:39 am EDT April 8, 2011

Lewiston Fire
Dick Gosselin

Firefighters said a family dog woke up a Lewiston couple, alerting them to a fire in their house. The fire at 777 Lisbon St. started just before midnight Thursday. A firefighter said the fire started on the back porch of the house, but investigators don't yet know how it started. The couple living in the house and their dog all escaped safely and are staying with family members.



Apr 08, 2011

3 Alarms for Pine Street Fire 

LEWISTON — A blazing cigar or cigarette butt tossed on a back deck was blamed Wednesday for an early-morning fire on Pine Street.

Lewiston Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette said the fire started near a can for cigarette butts on the back deck of the second floor of the three-story building at 215 Pine St.

"And, we had some wind last night and that was enough to carry the flames up the second-floor deck to the third floor and into the apartment," Ouellette said. "From there, it rose into the attic at a rapid rate. The building was a total loss."

Six people were in the building when it caught fire, Ouellette said. All escaped without injury, he said.

The third-floor tenants were not home at the time of the fire, Ouellette said.

"Luckily, they had fire alarms and they went off and everyone got out," he said. "The second-floor tenant opened his back door to investigate, and it was just a wall of flame."

Smoke poured from the attic of the three-story tenement about 20 minutes after the fire was reported at 12:30 a.m. Later, flames briefly engulfed the roof.

Several neighboring apartment buildings were evacuated and electricity was shut off to the entire block.

Crowds of people, some told to leave their homes by firefighters, others simply unable to sleep with the commotion going on outside, gathered on the street near the building, watching billowing smoke soar into the air as firefighters tried to contain the fire. 

One man who is ill was reportedly taken to an ambulance. Witnesses said he was not injured in the fire.

As bystanders watched, firefighters drenched the roof with water from multiple hoses. Sheets of water poured off the building and icicles formed on nearby power lines. 

Firefighters from Lewiston, Auburn and Lisbon battled the blaze in the building that formerly housed the Champoux Insurance Agency. Smoke from the fire could be seen from Auburn. Several emergency vehicles were at the scene, including at least eight firetrucks.

Ouellette said the building was a total loss and the owner's representatives were discussing demolishing it. The building was valued at $102,060, according to city assessing records.

"It would cost a lot more to repair the building than it's worth," Ouellette said.

Officials at the United Valley Red Cross said three families were displaced by the fire and two of the families had been put up in area hotels.

"There is nothing more eerie than seeing a house that has burned," said Eric Lynes, emergency services director for the United Valley Red Cross. "What is apparent is that they have lost everything, not just food, shelter and clothing but peace of mind."

Lynes said Red Cross volunteers were providing counseling and helping the tenants find new living quarters.

Mar 21, 2011

Crews Battle Lewiston House Fire

Fire Broke Out Early Friday Morning At 136 Old Greene Road


POSTED: 6:52 am EDT March 18, 2011
UPDATED: 7:57 am EDT March 18, 2011

Lewiston Fire 031811
Lewiston firefighters are on the scene of a fire at 136 Old Greene Rd. between Rachel Boulevard and Garcelon Street. The call came in around 6:30 a.m. Friday. The fire is under investigation.

Feb 07, 2011


Lewiston man escapes burning house

By Mark LaFlamme, Staff Writer

Published Feb 03, 2011 12:00 am | Last updated Feb 03, 2011 12:15 am

 LEWISTON — A man fled his burning home on Old Greene Road late Wednesday night and fire crews expected to be battling the blaze into Thursday morning. When police arrived at 678 Old Greene Road at about 10:30 p.m., the man who lives there was outside in his underwear, having escaped the Cape Cod house as flames devoured it. Police said the man was not hurt. He took exile in his truck and was given a blanket to stay warm. Meanwhile, fire crews from five towns contended with slushy roads, bitter cold, falling snow and a water shortage: Fire hydrants in the area stop short of the burning house. Lewiston firefighters went at the burning house with a tanker of their own and called for others from nearby towns. Auburn, Sabattus, Greene and Wales each sent crews to help with the effort. The house that burned is roughly a mile beyond No Name Pond Road and is owned by Rosaire Tardiff, according to a city of Lewiston property map. It was believed to be Tardiff who escaped from the burning house. His son was at the scene with him as firefighters sought to bring the fire under control. Police said a dog may have perished in the blaze. The cause was unknown. Lewiston Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette was called to the scene to begin an investigation once the flames were brought under control.


Jan 25, 2011


Two injured in head-on crash

LEWISTON — Two women were injured and their vehicles demolished in a head-on collision on Lisbon Street early Monday afternoon.
Jayne Bickford, 86, of Lisbon Falls was heading east near Liberty Mutual when she swerved into oncoming traffic at about 12:45 p.m., Lewiston police Sgt. Dave St. Pierre said. Bickford's minivan hit another minivan driven by Wendy Raymond, 34, of Lewiston.
The Lewiston Fire departments worked with United Ambulance Service for an hour and a half to free Raymond from the wreckage.
“The dashboard was pinning her in pretty good,” St. Pierre said. “It took a lot of work,” he said, adding that Monday's extremely cold temperatures also made the process a challenge.
Raymond and Bickford were taken to Central Maine Medical Center, St. Pierre said. Their injuries included broken bones, but were considered not life-threatening, he said. Raymond was in stable condition late Monday night at CMMC.
Several employees of Auburn-based T. Buck Construction who were working on the Maine Turnpike overpass near the accident went to the scene to help, St. Pierre said. When police arrived, the construction workers were helping the drivers and directing traffic around the vehicles, he said.
“It was a very good combined effort of fire department, police and the community,” St. Pierre said.

Rescue personnel worked for 90 minutes to free Wendy Raymond of Lewiston  from her minivan, left, after it and the minivan at right collided near 1775 Lisbon St. in Lewiston shortly before 1 p.m. Monday.

- Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Cpl. Larry Baril, left, assists Lewiston firefighters as they attempt to free Wendy Raymond of Lewiston from her Plymouth minivan shortly after 1 p.m. Monday near 1775 Lisbon St. in Lewiston. The woman's vehicle and another minivan driven by Jayne Bickford of Lisbon Falls collided.

- Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Jan 16, 2011

Downtown Lewiston Head Start evacuated after small electric fire


LEWISTON — Firefighters responded to a small fire Thursday afternoon at the Coburn Head Start Pre-K building on Bates Street.

The fire was quickly put out and the building evacuated.

Only one student was in the building, waiting to be picked up, since the morning class had ended, said financial director Sharon Philbrook Bergeron. The child and staff were taken to the nearby B Street Center to stay warm.

The school is the main office for area Head Start programs. Office staff not wearing winter jackets stood in the street as firefighters went through the building.

Fire Chief Paul LeClair said they received a report of a fire around 1 p.m. after an alarm went off.

“Our units responded. We're in the process of determining what the cause is. All of the staff have been evacuated,” LeClair said.

Bergeron said one of the teachers saw a fire in one of the classrooms.

“We exited the building. The firetrucks came,” Bergeron said.

The teacher went back in the building with firefighters to show them where she saw flames.

When staff heard the alarm, they assumed it was a drill.

“We have a lot of fire drills,” Bergeron said.

Bergeron was later told the cause may have been a combination ceiling light and fan in the children's bathroom.

By 1:30 p.m., firefighters allowed staff back into the building.

“We don't have class on Friday,” Bergeron said. “We'll be all set by the time Tuesday rolls around.”

The school will be closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jan 11, 2011

Lewiston firefighter Lt. Wallace Veilleux is framed against the American flag as he descends the ladder from the roof of a Knox Street apartment building on Monday after responding to a call of smoke coming from the roof which turned out to be furnace trouble.


Jan 08, 2011

Woman escapes burning house

Fire and rescue crews went to the home of Terry Cady off Frechette Street just before midnight when flames were seen shooting from the front of the house.

"I came out here and I could see flames coming out the windows," said Jessica Doane, who lives at the corner of Parker and Frechette streets. "It's scary. I don't know who lives there, but I hope everybody's OK."

Firefighters were also contending with power lines that fell to the street early in their efforts, police said.

Parker Street runs from Frechette Street and loops back to South Avenue. Police blocked a section of South Avenue to traffic as the firefighting effort continued Thursday morning.

Fire on Parker Street in Lewiston

Lewiston firefighters battle a fire on Parker Street in Lewiston early Thursday morning in Lewiston.

- Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Jan 02, 2011


Lewiston attic fire causes minimal damage



Published Dec 28, 2010 12:00 am | Last updated Dec 27, 2010 11:59 pm

LEWISTON — An attic fire caused minimal damage to a home at 39 Avon St. on Monday afternoon, Lewiston fire officials said.The fire was reported at about 3:15 p.m., Lewiston Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette said, when a resident smelled smoke in the house and called the Fire Department. Five trucks responded, and firefighters found fire in the attic of the home's barn-like extension used as a painting studio. The fire was caused when an electrical space heater overloaded the older-style knob-and-tube wiring, Ouellette said. The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes, and "damage was very minimal," he said. "It was a good save."

Ouellette estimated the damage at $10,000 and said the house remains inhabitable, although electricity was cut off during the fire.


By Andrew Cullen, Staff Writer

Oct 31, 2010

Second Fire of the night damages nine-unit building in Lewiston.

LEWISTON — Residents of a four-story apartment building on Pierce Street were forced to find other shelter Thursday night after an electrical short in the attic sparked a fire, Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette said.

Electricity to the building was shut off pending further investigation.

Ouellette said tenants in the nine-unit building either stayed with relatives or were helped by the American Red Cross. He estimated damage to the building at least $50,000.

Lewiston Fire Capt. Larry Morin said crews were called to 105 Pierce St. at 7:08 p.m Thursday for reports of a fire in the attic.

Tenants said they repeatedly tried contacting owner Brian Kirouak earlier in the day about problems with electricity in their apartments.

"When they called me, they didn't describe smoke," Kirouak said. "They said they had a (circuit) breaker that tripped, so I said I would come down and check it out."

Kirouak said he was out of town much of the day and went to the apartment house when he returned.

"I came over to inspect it myself," said Jason Rodriguez of Minot, whose sister-in-law lives in the building. "I definitely smelled something burning."

Rodriguez said his family started calling the landlord and his maintenance staff around 6:30 a.m. Thursday when they awoke to no electricity in their apartment. He said his sister-in-law told him that the electricity kept going off all day.

The family finally reached a point where the circuit breaker wouldn't even stay on late Thursday afternoon. They were on their way to spend the night with Rodriguez and his wife, who were picking them up, when Kirouak arrived and walked through the apartment with Rodriguez and the two discovered the fire in the attic.

"It's one of those issues where they had issues with the electric all day and they all kept looking around, but they didn't find anything," Ouellette said.

None of the tenants contacted the Fire Department during the day about the electrical issue or the funny smell.

Aug 23, 2010

Montello Street fire

Lewiston firefighters respond to a fire at 43 Montello St. in Lewiston on Sunday. Reported smoke and flames were seen coming from the roof around 2:15 p.m.

Aug 16, 2010

Fire on Holland Street under investigation


LEWISTON — Lewiston Fire and Police departments and the State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating a fire that started early Wednesday morning in a warehouse on Holland Street.

Firefighters responded around 2:30 a.m. to a fire at the warehouse of Jay's Small Engine and Appliance Service at 72 Holland St. According to the owner, Jay Rodrigue, the building housed products and trucks for his adjacent business, located at 70 Holland St. No one was in the building at the time and there were no injuries, according to officials.

The warehouse was destroyed in the fire. Rodrigue said the property was insured. He did not know the value of the property inside the warehouse.

The adjacent business office was not damaged in the fire. "Thanks to the absolutely fabulous fire department, we didn't lose anything (in that building)," Rodrigue said.

The building was fully involved by the time emergency personnel got to the scene at 2:30 a.m., according to Lewiston Fire Department Lt. Brad Dresser.

At about 9:15 a.m. this morning, Lt. Tim Falvey of the Boston and Maine Railroad Police was standing guard by the railroad tracks that run adjacent to the building. He said the railroad tracks had been shut down for a period of because of the fire, but rail service has since resumed.

"They had to shut down for a period of time so (emergency personnel) could get the equipment and the people over here without causing any danger," Falvey said.

Rodrique said that the pending an investigation from the electric inspector Jay's Small Engine and Appliance Service will be back in business as of end of business today. He plans to rebuild the warehouse after the insurance claim is settled, he said.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined.  Come back to to follow this story as it develops.

Aug 16, 2010

Firefighters attack hard-to-reach blaze at Bates Mill

Early reports were that the fire was in the elevator shaft between floors. Firefighters working on both sides of the building and on the roof were attempting to get to the flames to snuff them out.

Crews working from the alley behind the building, near DaVinci's Eatery, encountered heat and smoke as they pressed into the building. A haze of smoke hung over the mill, visible from Lincoln Street on one side and from Canal Street on the other.

The blaze seemed to be centered in the area directly above the museum. By early Wednesday, it was unknown whether the museum or its contents were in jeopardy from fire, heat, smoke or water.

Auburn fire crews joined the effort before midnight. Lewiston Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette was sent to the scene. At about midnight, he was waiting to begin searching for a cause.

Bates Mill Fire

A Lewiston fire fighter prepares to battle a blaze inside an elevator shaft at the Bates Mill Complex late Tuesday night.

- Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Aug 16, 2010

Families ousted by fire

LEWISTON — A fire erupted at an apartment house at 92-94 College St. late Friday after what neighbors described as a possible explosion.

Norman Bourget of 139 Oak St., a house behind the burning structure, said he heard a loud noise like an explosion between 11:15 and 11:30 p.m. When he went outside, he saw the flames at the rear of the College Street building. The fire was reported at 11:41 p.m., fire Chief Paul LeClair said.

After a report of a missing woman in the burning apartment, firefighters called for rescue to aid in removing a person found on the first floor.

At about 12:25 a.m., rescue personnel were wheeling a man away from the building on a gurney. A man who was suffering from possible smoke inhalation was taken to a local hospital, LeClair said.

College Street was flooded with water and police had taped off the area to keep spectators back. A crowd of more than 100 people gathered in the neighborhood.

No further information was available early Saturday morning.

Aug 02, 2010
Railroad tie fires are arson

The fires erupted one after another starting shortly after midnight along railroad tracks owned by Pan Am Railways, said Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette.

The first fire was reported near Main Street behind Salvation Army, he said. Once the first fire was knocked down, a second blaze was reported off of Libby Avenue, which damaged machinery and utility trailers owned by a local contractor, Ouellette said.

Railroad crews arrived after the fires were extinguished to move the ties and hose down smoldering embers.

Investigators hadn't identified any suspects as of 10 a.m. Monday.

Jul 06, 2010

Auburn fire destroys vacant Auburn building

AUBURN — An early morning fire destroyed a vacant multi-unit home Saturday and caused minor damage to neighboring houses.

Officials believe the fire was set.

The Auburn Fire Department received the call around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. When they arrived at 145 Hampshire St., the building was in flames and the fire was starting to approach a house next door. It took firefighters from Auburn, Lewiston and other surrounding towns about four hours to extinguish the fire. By the time they were done, the fire had melted some of the vinyl siding from the neighboring house and caused heat damage to the home behind it. The vacant multi-unit was destroyed.

One firefighter was slightly injured when he fell while fighting the fire. He was treated at a local hospital and released. No one else was hurt.  

The vacant building had no electricity or other utilities. Auburn Battalion Chief Victor Mathieu said the Maine Fire Marshal's Office investigated and an official believes the fire started outside on a first floor patio. 

"So obviously it's suspicious," Mathieu said.

Mathieu said the officials had some "people of interest" in the fire.

Mathieu commended the firefighters who responded, saying the other homes nearby could have been at risk if they hadn't gotten the fire under control as quickly as they did.

"The guys did a good job," he said. "It could have been worse."

Apr 21, 2010




Fire quelled in Lewiston apartment building

LEWISTON – A contractor working on a Cloutier Street apartment house Tuesday believes he may have caused a fire on the second floor.

Fire officials say the contractor also kept the fire from raging out of control.

Bruce Sanford, a volunteer firefighter himself, said he was cutting into the bottom of a window when a spark appeared to have ignited a section of a wall.

When police and firefighters first arrived at about 3:30 p.m., flames were shooting from the second floor window in the building behind Androscoggin Bank near the corner of Sabattus and Farwell streets.

Sanford, who had made the call for help, was fighting the fire with a garden hose.

Fire crews quickly doused the flames and tore into walls to snuff out hot spots. Nobody was hurt in the blaze.

Lewiston fire investigator Paul Ouellette was called to the scene and said the fire was accidental, caused when a spark flew from Sanford's grinding tool.

Ouellette said Sanford helped keep the flames from spreading into the attic when he battled them with a garden hose.

"If it had gotten into the attic, it would have been much worse," he said. "We would have had to call in Auburn. We'd still be over there."

Instead, damage was limited to one room. Ouellette estimated the amount of damage at $5,000.

Apr 16, 2010



Fatal accident ties up Sabattus Street


 Firefighters and emergency personnel work to free a person trapped in vehicle involved in an accident on Sabattus Street Lewiston on Friday.

- Jose Leiva/Sun Journal
Buy a Print

LEWISTON — A Sabattus woman died Friday morning after the SUV she was driving rear-ended a garbage truck at the intersection of Sabattus Street and Randall Road

Danielle Perrier, 33, was traveling westbound when she crashed into the back of a recycling truck owned by Pine Tree Waste driven by John Lizotte, who was stopped at a red light, police said.

A dozen or more fire, rescue and police crews from Auburn, Lewiston and United Ambulance responded to the accident scene shortly after 10:30 a.m.

Rescue crews had to dismantle the Ford SUV to extricate Perrier. Her two children — a 3-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl — suffered minor injuries. They were removed quickly from the vehicle and were treated and released, police said.

Three doors, the roof and seats of the SUV were removed during the extrication process. A child's car seat was removed along with a bright yellow and red Little Tykes toy car.

Perrier was taken to Central Maine Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, police said. 

Lewiston police officers investigated the scene through the morning. State Police also responded because of the involvement of a commercial vehicle in the accident. Because the accident was a fatality, it was reconstructed.

No citations were issued.

"We don't know why she rear-ended" the truck yet, Lt. Michael McGonagle said.

Sabattus Street east of Randall Road was closed for some time while police were at the scene.


Apr 08, 2010



Fire at Pepperell Mill quickly doused


LEWISTON – A man riding an ATV helped stop a fire at the Pepperell Mill along Adams Avenue from spreading out of control early Wednesday night.

The 7:20 p.m. fire scorched a small section of wood near the base of the building. Firefighters made fast work of the blaze after it was reported by the man riding through the dirt lot behind the mill.

The flames were snuffed out quickly, but firefighters called for help from Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette who was examining the burned area Wednesday night. Investigators believe the fire may have been set.

Ouellette said the building that burned was mostly used for storage and is filled with debris, much of it wood.

"If they hadn't knocked it down so quick, the building would have gone up fast," he said.

The lot behind the mill cluster is mostly vacant but is often used by people walking or riding from the downtown area to Lisbon Street. As firefighters extinguished the flames, a small group of people stood watching in another lot on Knox Street. All said they had not seen anyone suspicious coming out of the lot around the time the fire was reported.

The identity of the ATV rider was not immediately known.

For police and fire investigators, the blaze was one of several small fires to plague the area in recent days. Since the end of last week, firefighters have been called to at least one dumpster fire and an incident in which a homemade acid bomb was exploded near River Valley Village Apartments (formerly Tall Pines).

Those fires, as well as the one at the Pepperell Mill, remained under investigation Wednesday night. 


Feb 24, 2010



LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Firefighters spent most of Wednesday morning on the scene of a house fire on Pond Road.

  They were called to 507 Pond Road around 2:30 Wednesday morning.

 Firefighters say the family that lives at the home was able to make it out safely. They tell us battling the fire has been difficult since the home is just outside the hydrant range. Water had to be trucked in to fight the blaze.

Firefighters say the house is large and they had to battle flames on all three floors. At one point, firefighters had to be evacuated from the house because of a floor collapse. No one was injured.

Right now there is no known cause of the fire. Firefighters say the damage to the home is extensive.
















Jan 09, 2010

Couple escape major injury after bed catches fire in Horton Street apartment

LEWISTON — Larry Burnham looked lost standing in the parking lot across the street from his Horton Street apartment, watching as fire crews broke down the back door to enter the burning building.

The 59-year-old Lewiston man stood shivering in the slushy, icy driveway wearing only socks on his feet after escaping the flames with his wife of 33 years, Charlotte. The blaze broke out just after 8:30 p.m. in a bedroom of the couple’s first-floor apartment at 128 Horton St.

It wasn’t until his longtime friend and neighbor, Dale Richardson, ordered his son to go home and get a pair of shoes that Burnham even seemed to realize he was without shoes. Dazed, Burnham continued to watch as smoke poured out the backside and attic of the building he called home for more than a decade.

"I was watching TV in the other bedroom. I heard her bellowing," Burnham said of his wife as she rushed in the room to wake him. "I got in there and the whole bedroom was on fire."

The 59-year-old woman, who is battling cancer and uses an oxygen tank, was transported to Central Maine Medical Center immediately after crews arrived. Burnham said he thinks his wife might have fallen asleep smoking a cigarette, but authorities had not yet determined an official cause of the blaze as of late Monday night.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been brought in to help determine the cause, Lewiston Fire Investigator Paul Ouellette said.

He said there were numerous potential sources in the room that could have started a fire, since there was an oxygen tank present.

Burnham said the mattress was engulfed in flames when he entered the bedroom. He attempted to douse the blaze with pans of water from the nearby kitchen sink, but was unsuccessful and rushed his wife out of the apartment. He was later evaluated by emergency crews at the insistence of Richardson and also taken to the hospital.

"He’s one of my best friends," said Richardson, obviously worried about Burnham. "There’s not many people left around here from the old days. Everybody takes care of everybody down here."

Burnham said he and his wife rented the two-bedroom apartment from landlord Dan Baker, who lived on the second floor of the building. The couple had lived there more than 13 years. Buildings on either side and behind the two-story apartment building were evacuated as a precaution, according to Lewiston police Sgt. Randy St. Laurent.

"It’s contained to the building of origin," Lewiston fire Chief Paul LeClair said. "Crews are working on the interior right now. They’re searching for extensions and conducting an overhaul of the structure."

LeClair said that the full on-duty crew of the Fire Department responded, including 19 firefighters, four pumpers and one ladder truck. Additionally, five Lewiston police officers and crews from United Ambulance were also on scene.

Anyone looking to help the Burnhams may contact their son, Michael Labbe, at (207) 376-5279.

Mar 27, 2014

Woman burned while trying to put out mattress fire in Lewiston

Published on Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Last updated on Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

LEWISTON — A woman baby-sitting her three grandchildren at an apartment building on Blake Street suffered burns to her hands and feet when she tried to put out a bed fire, officials said.

The woman, who wasn't named, refused medical treatment at the scene, Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette said.

He said the three grandchildren, all juveniles, were playing with matches in the bedroom of one of the units in a 10-family apartment building at 226 Blake St.

The building was in the process of being evacuated when firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and removed the burned bed and box spring from the apartment. Damage was limited to the bed, Ouellette said.

He said the Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal was called to investigate because of the burns suffered by the grandmother.

Dec 24, 2009

Sylvan Avenue Fire

LEWISTON — A Wednesday morning blaze left a Sylvan Avenue apartment building in shambles and killed a cat and a dog. 

No one was injured in the fire at 43 Sylvan Ave., but at least two family pets — a cat named Big Papi and a dog — were killed by fire or smoke inhalation, police Chief Paul Leclair said.

"It was very heavily damaged," Leclair said. "Nobody is going to be living there for a very long time. There's too much damage — too much smoke damage, too much water damage and we wouldn't recommend anybody live there."

Later in the day, fire officials were still searching for the cause. The fire engulfed the first and second floors and had spread to the roof by 9:30 a.m.

If there was any good news at all, it was that wrapped Christmas gifts in two first-floor rooms did not burn.

"A few of the boxes are a little wet, but they're salvageable," Lewiston Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette said. "They're very happy about that."

Building owner Kim Teehan, who lives on the first floor with her husband, Jimmy, said she was home until 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. She'd left to go to her church to help prepare for Christmas Eve services, taking her nieces with her. She received a phone call from a friend, alerting her that her building was on fire.

"It's all in there, everything we own," she said. "We don't have anything else."

The second floor was reportedly occupied by relatives of the Teehans.

  Fire crews were able to rescue two pets, a kitten named Little Jabroni and a 3-year-old terrier named Carlos.

According to Ouellette, the fire started in the first-floor kitchen. It moved up through spaces in the wall, largely bypassed the second floor, and burned through the attic and into the roof.

"Once it got into the roof, it moved from left to right," Ouellette said.

He was assisting Fire Inspector Pete Morrell in a search for the cause of the blaze.

Teehan and her husband were surrounded by friends as firefighters led the soaked and shivering Carlos from the burning building. Jimmy Teehan scooped up the dog and swept him into a neighbor's house to warm up before sending him off with a family friend to be checked by a veterinarian.

"Thank you. Jesus," he said, holding the dog up for the crowd to see, before ducking indoors. 

A Lewiston fire official said damage was estimated at $185,000. The owners had insurance on their building.

Dec 05, 2009

Dec 05, 2009

Fire erupts at former Pioneer Plastics

"Most of the fire is knocked down, and we're just checking for hot spots," Auburn Fire Chief Wayne Werts said late Monday night. "We don't believe anything will flare back up, but there are still some hot spots in the incinerator area."

Earlier in the evening, emergency crews also activated the county's reverse 911 system to alert neighborhoods surrounding the plant of potential danger from the plumes of black smoke coming from the facility's roof. Residents were not evacuated, but asked to remain indoors with their windows closed and air conditioning turned off.

The fire was reported at 6:30 p.m. and more than 65 firefighters from Auburn, Lewiston, New Gloucester, Poland, Mechanic Falls and Minot remained on scene for hours. Werts said the blaze broke out in duct work that runs the length of the building and is used as a collection chute that carries byproduct from one of the processes used at the plant to a disposal storage unit.

Due to the heat and humidity, Werts said that fire crews were rotated in and out of battling the blaze and checking for hot spots every 30 minutes.

By late evening, Werts said that any potential danger had been averted and that the county's COBRA hazardous material team reported that air quality levels were back to normal. He added that the reason for the initial automated calls to residents came from the fact that crews were not sure what chemicals were involved in the fire.

"There's stuff in there that once it starts, you can't stop it," said Eric Henson, an employee of the plant who was just showing up for second shift when the fire started.

Employees on the second shift were sent home for the evening, and plant officials cancelled the third shift. Werts said it was unclear whether or not all or just part of the plant will reopen Tuesday.

Werts said the State Fire Marshal's Office was there to help determine the cause of the blaze. As of late Monday night, he said that investigators did not have a reason why the material in the duct work overheated and caught fire.

"Yeah, I'm nervous because I know the chemicals that are in there," said Peggy Gray, 61, who not only works at the plant, but also lives within a mile of it. "I'm antsy because you just never know. If this place blows up, it could land in my kitchen."

Justin Ramsey, 28, of Lewiston, was working in the plant's fabrication department when the emergency sirens sounded. He said employees at first thought it was a fire drill, but soon realized it was the real deal when they heard a call for the plant's emergency crew to respond for a "fire on the roof." Seconds later, he said a second emergency tone ordered employees to evacuate the facility.

"We were freaked out because we know there are big holding tanks out back," Ramsey said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Werts credited plant officials with being very proactive in terms of fire safety. He said everything in the facility was up to code and that regular fire drills are held at the facility. The plant also works directly with the Fire Department to hold specialized trainings on site for employees

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Local #785 in Memory of:
Captain Phillip Basinet
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 Private John B Byrnes
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1913 - 1966
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