New Year’s Eve fire cause released


LEWISTON – Fire officials say a New Year’s Eve fire that destroyed three apartments at 21 Stewart St. started when someone left a wooden knife block on a stove and it ignited.

Lewiston Fire Investigator Peter Morrell said the tenants of one apartment had ongoing problems with their stove and thought the burners didn’t work. Someone placed a wooden knife block on the stove and, when a burner turned on, it caught fire.

The building has one single-family home adjoined by three apartments in the left and rear. The fire spread through the building, destroying the apartments and damaging part of the single-family home.

The American Red Cross is now helping the renters left homeless by the blaze. The home’s owners, Mike and Rachel Doucette, have been able to return to their home, Morrell said.