Sunday, April 20, 2014
LEWISTON — The 12-year-old boy who is charged with setting the fire that destroyed three buildings in Lewiston on Monday has been identified in court records as Brody Covey.
A demolition crew cleans up rubble from the Blake Street fire in Lewiston on Thursday.
Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer
Covey, whose name was made available Friday afternoon by the criminal clerk's office in Lewiston District Court, is scheduled to appear in juvenile court at 1 p.m. Monday to face three counts of arson.
Lewiston police and the Androscoggin District Attorney's Office would not release the boy's name because of his age.
The court documents are public record by state law because of the seriousness of the charges, which would be Class A felonies for an adult.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Robinson said Monday's hearing will be open to the public.
He said he doesn't expect his office will try to have the case against the 12-year-old bound over to adult court, which would require a hearing before a juvenile court judge who would make the decision.
Robinson said a juvenile prosecutor will decide on the charges.
Covey was arrested Thursday and taken to a juvenile detention facility, police said.
Investigators interviewed more than 50 witnesses in the case, a process that included multiple interviews with Covey. They have not said how or why the fire was set.
Authorities say the fire was set behind 105 Blake St. and spread from that building to two others, at 172 Bates St. and 82 Pine St. No one was hurt, but several pets died and 75 people were displaced.
The buildings on Blake and Bates streets have been torn down and the building on Pine Street is expected to be demolished next week.
Residents who live across the street from the Blake Street building said Friday that they don't recall seeing a boy in the area around the time of the fire and don't know if Covey lived in one of the buildings that burned down.
The neighbors, who would not give their names, said they believe that four of the nine units in the Blake Street building, which was condemned two months ago, appeared to be occupied and they didn't see any family with a pre-teen boy.
Robert Cote, who owns a four-unit building between the Bates Street and Pine Street buildings, said he can't recall seeing any children outside at the time of the fire.
He said his building sustained smoke and water damage but was saved from more serious damage because a firefighter climbed onto his roof with a hose and kept flames from spreading.
Craig Aleo, a friend of Cote's who lives about a block away, said he had never heard of Brody Covey or a Covey family.
Throughout Friday evening, residents walked by to look at the piles of rubble and the damage to the Pine Street building. A cat appeared in a second-floor window of the Pine Street building and some neighbors said they planned to call firefighters to see if they could lure it out.
The neighborhood is a mix of small three- and four-unit apartment buildings, a large senior housing project and a few small offices.
The blaze tore through the tightly situated buildings, growing so large that firefighters worried about having enough water pressure, and the plume of smoke was seen on weather radar 35 miles away in Portland.
Lewiston officials condemned the Blake Street building on March 19, but authorities said six of its nine units were still occupied. Code enforcement officers had been moving tenants from the building, which was owned by Sean Watkins of LA Property Management in Lewiston but had fallen into bank ownership.
-- Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy contributed to this report.
Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at: