Arson prompts chief to lock park

0

LIVERMORE FALLS – Fire Chief Ken Jones has locked the skateboard park until an investigation into a fire set Wednesday afternoon at the recreation field is completed with a confession from someone.

It was unknown Thursday if the fire was intentionally set or ignited by accident – the result of someone playing with matches or a lighter or smoking – Jones said Thursday.

Several children who were in the area have been interviewed, he said.

The fire started directly adjacent to the park fence and burned an estimated 1 to 2 acres, Jones said.

The recreation field is behind the municipal building on Foundry Road, which runs along the Androscoggin River. The fire moved east toward Park Street and started heading toward Depot Street before firefighters could extinguish it, Jones said.

It did not damage the ball fields, he said, but would have been a threat to businesses and residences if the fire had jumped the road.

Livermore Falls police officer Joe Sage also is looking into the fire, which remains under investigation as an arson case, police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said.

Firefighters and police are working with a Forest Service ranger.

Steward said there have been problems in recent weeks with teenagers at the skateboard park smoking cigarettes and marijuana.

He chased some of them out recently that were in the park riding bicycles. The one who was smoking when he arrived, Steward said, was 18 and old enough to have a cigarette.

Five written statements have been taken and Jones said he interviewed a juvenile Wednesday night but no one has confessed to setting the fire.

“I locked the skate park up until the investigation is complete with a confession,” he said. “This little incident with the winds we had (Wednesday) could have jumped the road and put a potential danger to buildings,” Jones said.

Quelling the fire cost Livermore Falls taxpayers $151 in labor, not including costs for apparatus or Jay taxpayers’ cost for firefighters and apparatus, he said.

Advertisement
SHARE