MEXICO — A fire that destroyed a vacant building on Coburn Avenue may have been intentionally set, Lt. Dan Carrier of the Mexico Police Department said Monday evening.
Fire departments from four towns responded to scene around 4:15 p.m. The building owner lives in Massachusetts, Carrier said.
“We’re getting some mixed stories right now, but from what we’re hearing from witnesses, there were three or four juveniles seen fleeing from the building around the time of the fire,” Carrier said. “One was reported to be wearing a pink jacket. We don’t know if it was an accident or not, but we’re going to continue looking into it.”
Mexico, Dixfield, Peru and Rumford fire departments were dispatched to the fire, along with Dixfield and Mexico police departments.
Mexico fire Chief Gary Wentzell said the building appeared to be an old, abandoned camp that hadn’t been used in 20 years.
“There wasn’t really any driveway to get to the building,” Wentzell said. “We drove up Coburn Avenue, turned onto Thad White Lane and then drove over an embankment to get to the building. It didn’t look like there was any good way to get to it.”
Dixfield fire Chief Scott Dennett said Dixfield Fire Department was initially dispatched.
“The fire was first seen from a lot of people on Coburn Avenue, but the fire was actually in Mexico,” he said.
Wentzell said investigators from the state’s Fire Marshal’s Office will visit the scene Tuesday for further investigation.