Sanford building burned in Thursday's fire known for drug activity

NOW: 'Oh my God, get out!' Neighbor describes Sanford blaze

SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The building where firefighters believe a massive fire broke out Thursday afternoon is one that police and neighbors say was known for drug activity.

Sanford Police said Thursday that they had arrested people who said they lived at 33 Island Avenue on drug charges. Police also arrested Joshua Noorda for violating the conditions of his release after police arrested him in the same neighborhood on charges of aggravated drug trafficking. The charges were aggravated because the crime happened within 1,000 feet of an elementary school. Lafayette Elementary is less than 200 feet from where the fire broke out.

Kari Zielke, who lives at the corner of Thompson St. and Island Avenue, has been taking action over the past few months to get rid of suspected drug dealers in the area. She posted signs on her home telling them to leave the neighborhood, and warning them of the aggravated charges.

"The building had a lot of problems. Just seeing all of that happen and other properties in the area with young families -- it was just a lot," said Zielke on Thursday.

Zielke said she hoped that whoever was in the building at the time got out safely.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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