The Lewiston Fire Department battles a fire Thursday night at an empty building on Oak Street. Larry Gilbert/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — For the second night in a row, fire crews battled flames Thursday at an empty, three-story tenement on Oak Street.

Just before 10 p.m., neighbors called to report flames shooting from a room on the lower floor at 164 Oak St., near the corner at Union Street. When the first fire crews arrived, they reported that a vacant bedroom at the back of the apartment house was on fire.

Flames could be seen shooting from the second floor windows and spreading quickly toward the upper floor. Fire crews attacked the flames from all sides while crowds of onlookers gathered on the streets and in parking lots.

A night before, fire crews had battled flames in the same building, which is behind the 7-Eleven on Main Street

At about 11 p.m. Wednesday night, crews went to the apartment house and quickly doused flames in a wall. Investigators were sent to pin down what caused a fire in the empty tenement.

On Thursday night at about 10 p.m., Pauline Dunham, who lives next door, said she was roused by the sounds of arriving fire crews, just like the night before. When she looked out, she saw flames and smoke pouring out of a broken window.


It was a mystery to Dunham because the apartment house has been vacant for so long.

“I don’t ever see anybody in or around that building,” she said.

Police blocked off a section of Oak Street around the fire scene as crews continued to battle the flames. Investigators once again were expected to enter the building once the fire was extinguished.

A crew from Auburn assisted at the scene.

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