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May 6, 2013

Press Herald file photo/Carl D. Walsh

The scene of a fire aftermath at Bartlett and Pierce streets in Lewiston that started Friday night.

Court dates expected for Lewiston suspects

By Dennis Hoey
dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The 12-year-old Lewiston boys charged with setting apartment building fires near downtown Lewiston that displaced nearly 200 people are expected to make their initial court appearances this week.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the State Fire Marshal's Office, said Brody Covey and another boy, whose name has not been released, will be brought to court on Monday or Tuesday.

"The District Attorney's Office and the Clerk of Courts will get together and decide tomorrow," McCausland said Sunday night.

Covey, who allegedly set fires that destroyed apartment buildings on Blake, Bates and Pine streets last Monday, and the other boy, who allegedly set fires to apartment buildings on Pierce and Bartlett streets Friday night, are being held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

The second boy, who has been charged with four counts of arson, won't be identified until a juvenile petition is filed in court, McCausland said.

Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere said during a news conference Saturday afternoon that the fires are not related, but that it appears an accelerant may have been used in the Friday night fire.

The fires proved to be devastating and displaced about 180 people, most of whom are Somali immigrants, said Joanne Potvin, who is director of the Androscoggin Valley Emergency Management Agency.

Potvin said the city of Lewiston's General Assistance Office made four caseworkers available over the weekend. They tried to help fire victims find housing and secure food and clothing.

Many of the victims were unable to find housing and about 25 individuals were forced to spend Sunday night at a temporary shelter set up at Lewiston High School.

With classes resuming Monday, Potvin said the American Red Cross is scrambling to find housing. Meanwhile, dozens of people donated items at the local YWCA in Auburn or filled school buses with donations. Buses were parked at the Shaw's supermarket in Lewiston and at the Walmart in Auburn on Sunday.

"The reaction has been full support from the community," Potvin said.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@mainetoday.com





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