LEWISTON -- The Island Point mill overlooking the Great Falls, to be developed in a hotel and retail space, erupted in fire just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.
In approximately five minutes, the fire had spread from the south end of the building to the north end. The top two floors of the mill building are now fully engulfed in flames, with explosions heard inside the structure. Portions of the building appear to be collapsing.
Police have set up barricades for crowd control as hundreds of people ran to the scene to watch the flames and billowing smoke.
A good portion of the front of the Cowan mill has collapsed, and ash has traveled across the street and caught the roof of Bates Mill No. 5 on fire. Firefighters are moving their trucks to the Bates Mill to fight the second fire. That fire was put out shortly after firefighters tended to it.
Lewiston Police are looking for three teenagers in connection with the Cowan Mill fire. Two boys and a girl were reportedly seen running from the building shortly before the flames were spotted in the mill.
Lewiston police called in the morning shift for crowd control and are trying to push the crowd east of Lisbon Street.
Police have evacuated the Florida Power & Light office building, and spot fires have been reported near nearby Espo's restaurant.