Police make arrest in connection to 2017 fire that destroyed Farmington Falls store

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A fire damaged the General Store on April 4, 2017. The building was later demolished. (Photo by Farmington Fire Rescue)

FARMINGTON – Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office have made an arrest in connection with the fire that destroyed the Falls General Store in April of 2017. A Phillips man was taken into custody Friday without incident on charges of arson and conspiracy.

The store, previously located at 176 Croswell Street in Farmington Falls, was damaged by a fire on April 4, 2017. Approximately 35 firefighters with seven crews responded and had the blaze under control within an hour. The store never reopened and was later demolished.

Over the past 5 years, personnel with the Fire Marshal’s Office have continued investigating the fire. According to a statement from the Maine Department of Public Safety’s spokesperson Shannon Moss, recently some new information helped the investigators move the case forward.

On Friday, investigators arrested Kurt Searles, 34 of Phillips, on charges of arson, a Class A felony, and conspiracy to commit arson, a Class B felony. He was transported to Franklin County Detention Center and later released on $5,000 cash bail.

Moss noted that investigators with the state had been assisted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

If anyone has information about the fire, they are asked to contact the State Fire Marshal’s office at 207-624-7076.

Kurt Searles (Photo by Franklin County Detention Center)
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