OLD TOWN — Three youths were charged with arson, burglary and failing to report a dangerous fire Monday after a Sunday night fire that damaged a former pie plate factory in Old Town.
The youths range in age from 12 to 15 and are from Old Town and Indian Island, according to Old Town police.
They were released into the custody of their parents and their cases have been turned over to juvenile intake workers, according to Old Town Police Detective Wilfred King.
The three youths started the fire by lighting pieces of a cardboard beer case, King said. They were using the pieces of lit cardboard as laloor and stamped out. They reportedly said some were still glowing when they left the building shortly before the fire was reported.
The former Lily Tulip building on North Main Street is owned by Ray Lynch of Veazie, police said.
Police have had problems with youths breaking into the building for several months, and last week three Bangor men were charged with burglary after allegedly stripping copper wire from old machinery in the building.
Youths also have used the building as a hangout, police said, and one of the youths charged in Sunday night’s fire was on probation for a similar incident that occurred last summer, he said.
Old Town and Orono fire departments fought the 6 p.m. fire. Damage was confined to the inside and was extensive on the north end of the building.
The structure’s sprinkler system helped douse the flames, but firefighters were confronted with 440 volts of electricity arcing inside the building before the power was shut off, said Old Town Fire Chief Ed Pollard.