Firefighters battle grass fire along Androscoggin River in Lewiston


LEWISTON — Firefighters were able to contain a grass fire along the Androscoggin River on Monday evening that burned an area of riverfront about 40-feet by 20-feet. At about the same time, police officers on the lookout for an 8-year-old reported missing shortly before by his family tracked the boy and another child to the same area.

Capt. Victor Gaudreau of the Lewiston Fire Department said that the call came in around 6:30 p.m. that there was a grass fire along the riverbank in the area around River Valley Village Apartments, formerly Tall Pines, between Libby and Strawberry avenues. A motorist heading from Lewiston to Auburn across Veteran’s Memorial Bridge noticed the riverbank blaze and called 911.

Gaudreau said that the fire was contained and put out within an hour and a half. He said that the fire consumed mainly pine needles and dry leaves.

Lt. Mark Watson of the Lewiston Fire Department confirmed Monday night that police officers were already in the area looking for an 8-year-old boy from the apartment complex who was reported missing by his parents. During the investigation, officers were informed that the boy was in the company of another child.

Both boys were tracked down by police dogs in the area near the fire, though it was not determined whether or not the boys set the blaze. Both Gaudreau and Watson said that a firefighter with the Fire Prevention Division spoke with the boys, who were later released to their parent’s custody.