A 70-year-old Lewiston man died Saturday afternoon when he jumped from a top-floor window as fire tore through this apartment building as at 226 Blake St. in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — The man who died Saturday during a fire on Blake Street has been identified as Felicien K. Betu, 70, of Lewiston, according to officials.

Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said the Lewiston Fire Department responded at 4:44 p.m. to reports of a fire at a four-story, 10-unit apartment building at 226 Blake St.

Betu died from injuries suffered when he jumped from a window on the building’s top floor, according to Moss.

No other tenant was injured in the blaze, according to Moss.

Firefighters from the Auburn, Lisbon and Sabattus fire departments also responded to the fire.

American Red Cross volunteer Willie Danforth puts away cots Sunday at Lewiston High School. Danforth and the Red Cross set up the cots at the school gymnasium for victims of Saturday’s fire at 226 Blake St. A 70-year-old Lewiston died when he jumped from a top-floor window during the blaze. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The Lewiston Fire and Police departments were at the scene of the fire through Saturday night, according to Moss. Investigators from the Office of State Fire Marshal returned Sunday to continue their examination of the scene. A cause of the fire had yet to be determined Sunday night.


Lewiston School Superintendent Jake Langlais said Sunday a 70-bed shelter was constructed at the gymnasium at Lewiston High School to house the 27 people displaced by the fire.

Langlais said Betu was an adult education student in Lewiston.

“The (shelter) may carry into the start of the week, but the Red Cross is working on supports, the needs of the families and housing efforts,” Langlais said.

American Red Cross volunteer Debbie Davis plays with Jericho Prosperi, 5, while Prosperi’s family packs donations into a car Sunday at Lewiston High School. Hilary Whitmore, left, and her two sons Prosperi and Nevan Whitmore, 11, cannot return to their apartment on Blake Street because of Saturday’s fire. Davis and the Red Cross provided Whitmore’s family with clothing, toys and a room at the Ramada hotel until the family can return to its apartment. Davis traveled almost three hours from Stewartstown, NH, to help victims of Saturday’s fire. A 70-year-old Lewiston man died during the blaze when he jumped from a top-floor window. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Langlais said The Green Ladle, the culinary program at the Lewiston Regional Technical Center, is assisting with meals, while the Store Next Door, which operates out of Lewiston High School, is donating other resources, including clothing.

“These families lost all their belongings,” Langlais said. “It will take some time to recover. Our community is strong and out of these tragedies we see greatness.”

Moss said the investigation into the blaze is expected to continue Monday.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: