LEWISTON — A 16-year-old local girl was charged Friday with starting a fire in a vacant building on Oak Street.

Police and fire officials had been investigating since a fire was reported late Wednesday night at 164 Oak St. On Thursday night, a second fire was reported at the empty 3-story apartment house, this one resulting in flames that burned from the first to the upper floors.

A fire inspector determined that the fires had been intentionally set. The teenager was charged in connection with the second fire, although the investigating may lead police to charge her in the first, as well.

Lewiston police said investigators ultimately zeroed in the 16-year-old, who was questioned on Friday and ultimately charged with arson.

The girl, who was not identified, was taken to the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland where she remained Friday night.

On Wednesday, firefighters went to the building at about 11 p.m. after receiving reports of fire at the back of the building, which is located behind the 7-Eleven on Main Street. Fire crews made quick work of that fire, snuffing out the flames and hot spots within the walls.

The Thursday night blaze, reported at about 9:30 p.m., was more intense, with flames shooting out of windows at the rear of the building. Firefighters battled the flames for more than an hour, cutting into roof of the tenement and attacking the fire from above.

Neighbors said there had not been anybody living in the apartment house for many months. They also said they did not see anybody going into or out of the building around the time of the fires.

Police are still investigating. Anyone with information about the fires is asked to contact Detective Joey Brown at 513-3001 ext. 3322

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