March 17, 2010

Fire destroys vacant Lewiston mill

From staff and news services

LEWISTON — Lewiston police are looking for three teenagers in connection with a fire that swept through a vacant textile mill today near the Androscoggin River’s Great Falls.

Police Lt. Mark Cornelio said the historic Cowan Mill was engulfed soon after the fire was reported at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, with flames licking through the roof, according to The Associated Press.

Police said they were looking for two boys and a girl who were seen running from the building shortly before flames were spotted, according to the Sun Journal.

Part of the Cowan Mill collapsed and ash briefly started a fire on the roof of the nearby Bates Mill No. 5. All nearby streets were closed.

The 60,000-square-foot mill was built in 1850 on the site of the city’s first cotton mill, according to the city's Web site. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Developers have considered transforming the six-story building into residential or hotel units.

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