On Thursday afternoon, a section of the Lee Auto Mall caught fire while Lewiston and Auburn fire departments battled blazes coming from the building’s top.
When flames were discovered on the roof of the Chrysler Jeep and Dodge Ram division at around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, workers in other areas of the dealership were evacuated. Renovations were being done in the area of the building where the fire started, thus it was empty.
Several witnesses at the scene claimed that workers using cutting tools on the roof could have started the fire. The initial calls that were received stated that buildings were being evacuated after a roof fire was spotted.
When the fire was put out, a portion of the abandoned building had already collapsed. There were no reported injuries. It was unclear right away if any of the dealership’s vehicles had been harmed by the fire.
Near the intersection of Center Street and Stetson Road is the area of the dealership that caught fire. Police closed off parts of Center Street in the area while firefighters fought the flames. Joline Drive was used as a detour for northbound traffic, and Colby Street for southbound traffic. During rush hour, the situation snarled Center Street traffic.
Dodge and Chrysler salespeople had been working in the Nissan division while the store underwent remodeling.
Firefighters were still on the site an hour after the fire was originally discovered, cleaning up and extinguishing hotspots. It was anticipated that the fire’s origin would be the subject of an urgent investigation.
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