LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A 12-year-old boy was charged with setting a fire that destroyed three buildings and left 75 people homeless in Maine’s second-biggest city, officials said Thursday.
The youngster, who was in custody and whose name was not released, will be arraigned Monday in juvenile court. No other arrests are anticipated, Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere told reporters.
The boy set a fire behind a condemned apartment building Monday evening, where it spread to that building and two others, authorities said. Two of the buildings were razed, and the third is due to be torn down next week.
No one was hurt but several pets died.
Police declined to comment on the boy’s motives or say whether he lived in the condemned building. People were still living in six units even though the building had been condemned a month earlier.
The flames were first seen engulfing a back porch. The blaze grew so large that firefighters worried about having enough water pressure, and the plume of smoke could be seen on weather radar 35 miles away in Portland.