June 20, 2018
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Two juveniles charged in blaze at empty Orrington house

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

ORRINGTON, Maine — Two juveniles have been arrested in connection with a blaze that destroyed a vacant Center Drive home during school vacation week.

Two males, ages 16 and 17, were charged Friday with arson, fire marshal Sgt. Ken Grimes said Saturday.

Their names are not being released because of their ages.

The two were detained, then released into the custody of their parents, Grimes said.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

Once the Class A arson charges are lodged against the teenagers at the Penobsoct Judicial Center in Bangor, their names will be made public because of the severity of the crime.

If convicted, the boys could be sentenced to one of the state’s juvenile detention centers in Portland and Charleston until their 21st birthdays.

The fire was reported at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, and firefighters from six neighboring communities helped battle the blaze. The home, owned by Don Simpson, had been empty for years without power or heat and was filled with used tires, Orrington Assistant Fire Chief Scott Stewart said Thursday.

The stored tires gave the fire fuel and created a fast-burning blaze that produced a lot of thick, black smoke, he said, which made fighting the fire difficult.

“The first floor of the structure was filled with over 300 tires,” Stewart said Thursday.

Because there are no hydrants in that area of Center Drive, firefighters had to use half a dozen tankers to haul in water from two miles away. Crews from Brewer, Holden, Eddington, Dedham-Lucerne and Bucksport assisted.

Center Drive was closed to vehicle traffic during the blaze.

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