New Hampshire

3 Boys Charged in Massive Mill Inferno; Missing Homeless Men Found

Three boys have been charged in connection with Friday's fire that destroyed a mill.

Three Maine boys have been charged with arson in connection with Friday's massive fire that destroyed an abandoned mill.

State police say the three Sanford boys – unidentified except for their ages, a 12-year-old and two 13-year-olds – were arrested Sunday and were taken to the Long Creek juvenile detention center in South Portland.

Investigators say the fire started on the third floor of the mill. They used drone footage to study the fire patterns in the building, and security camera footage to establish leads.

The three juveniles will be arraigned on arson charges once paperwork is filed in Sanford District Court. It's unclear if they have attorneys.

Earlier Monday, investigators said two homeless men who had been known to stay in the abandoned Stenton Trust Mill in recent weeks were unaccounted for; state police announced just before noon Monday that they had been located in Portland.

While there were no injuries in the fire, the building itself is still a danger. The mill was still smoldering Monday, and fire officials say it's not safe to be inside or near it.

"We've seen some bowing in some of the outside walls, which indicates it could come down at any time," said Sanford Fire Chief Steve Benotti.

He said the city will put fencing around the property by Tuesday, to keep people away from the potential collapse.

Sanford's city manager estimated it would cost the city at least $500,000 to tear it down.

More than 100 firefighters from 20 surrounding communities in Maine and New Hampshire responded to Friday night's fire in the 300,000-square-foot building. The mill has been abandoned for about a decade.

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