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3 boys set fire to mill, 2 missing men found safe, officials say

The State Fire Marshal’s Office says three Sanford boys have been charged with arson in connection with the fire that destroyed the Stenton Trust Mill in Sanford. (Joshua Sawyer)

SANFORD, Maine (WGME) -- The State Fire Marshal’s Office says three Sanford boys have been charged with arson in connection with the fire that destroyed the Stenton Trust Mill in Sanford on Friday.

Police say two of the boys are 13 and one is 12. They say they were arrested Sunday and taken to the Long Creek Juvenile Detention Center in South Portland Monday morning.

Crews have not being able to go inside to start investigating because of fears that the building may collapse.

The fire started Friday just before 7 p.m.

Sanford's fire chief says 20 different towns helped them fight the flames that quickly engulfed the old mill.

The mill was abandoned, but Maine State Police say two homeless men had been staying in the mill, they were originally unaccounted for but they were found safe Monday morning.

Crews are still putting out hot spots from the fire.

Sanford’s fire chief says despite the buildings steel structure it's not safe for investigators or anyone to be in.

“Conditions are such until we can render it safe. They'll be no further investigation into the building until that happens. There are still a few hotspots every time the wind picks up,” Sanford Fire Chief Steve Benotti said.

“It's been sort of a trouble spot and a bit of a magnet for trouble in town. It's probably in the long run for the best because nothing was going to happen to it. It had been so damaged by weather and lack of upkeep there really was nothing left of it, kind of like a hot potato that no one wanted to take responsibility for,” Mark Rouillard, works across the street, said.

Chief Benotti says heavy equipment will be brought in Tuesday to start tearing down the building.

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