A Phillips man is facing a charge of arson in connection with a 2017 fire that devastated a Farmington business.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss says 34-year-old Kurt Searles of Phillips was arrested on July 1st at his residence. He's accused of setting the fire that destroyed the Falls General Store in Farmington in April of 2017. Searles is charged with arson and conspiracy to commit arson.

The State Fire Marshal's office has spent five years investigating this case. Officials haven't said what led them to Searles other than to say that new information had recently come to light. The fire caused considerable damage to the wooden structure, forcing owners to demolish the building that formerly sat at 176 Croswell Road in Farmington.

Members of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office assisted Fire Investigators during this arrest. Officials say the investigation is ongoing and they hope to hear from anyone who may have information about this case. Anyone who thinks they can help is encouraged to call the State Fire Marshal's Office at 207-624-7076.

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