Exact cause of Lewiston fire may never be known

3-alarm fire destroys Lewiston apartments

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Investigators have determined a fire sparked in the top rear of an apartment building on Oak St. in Lewiston Sunday night, but say they may never know an exact cause.

The call came in around 11 PM and quickly went to 3-alarms, calling in all available resources.

Everyone made it out of the building safely. The Red Cross was on scene within 20 minutes to help those displaced find temporary housing.

People like Donna Belanger have lived in that building for nearly 19 years. "I'm devastated," said Belanger. "There was a little 70-year-old lady who lives on the first floor who can't walk, but everybody had to work to get her out. I don’t know where everybody went, this is like my family here."

Belanger said neighbors like Frankie Pacheco helped knock on doors to get everyone out. Pacheco says he had just moved his stuff in that day, "I got nowhere to go."

Investigators couldn't get into the building on Monday morning because the damage was so extensive. Instead, they took aerial photos and interviewed witnesses. Chris Stanford with the Maine Fire Marshal's Office says because they can't get into the building, they may never know an exact cause. 

As of Monday afternoon, officials were still trying to track down one of the tenants who lives in the unit the fire started in.

 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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