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Fire Official: Vandalism Likely Led To Blaze That Destroyed Historic Casco School House

Kirk Mohney
via National Register of Hisoric Places
The Friends School House, seen in 1996.

Fire investigators say they believe vandalism led to a blaze early Sunday morning in Casco that destroyed a one-room school house built in 1849 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"During the investigation of the building and the collection of information we determined that the fire was intentionally set inside the building using materials that were already inside," says Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the state Fire Marshal's Office.

Officials with the Fire Marshal's Office say Devin Richardson-Gurney, 22, and Edward Scott, 20, of Casco, admitted to setting the Friends School House on fire on Sunday.

Grimes says they have each been charged with arson and were scheduled to make their initial court appearances Monday.

The Portland Press Herald says that the structure contained dozens of irreplaceable historic artifacts, including maps, schoolbooks and an announcement declaring the election of George Washington as the first U.S. president. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.