Warrant issued in topless coffee shop fire

Posted April 06, 2010, at 9:38 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 29, 2011, at 12:56 p.m.

VASSALBORO, Maine – The State Fire Marshal’s Office said Tuesday an arrest warrant has been issued for an Augusta man charging him in connection with last year’s fire in Vassalboro that destroyed the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop.

Fire Marshal Sgt. Kenneth Grimes said his investigators and police are looking for Raymond Bellavance, 49, who will be charged with arson.

Bellavance lives at 3 Jefferson Street in Augusta and has not been seen for the last couple of days, according to police. Bellavance was a boyfriend of one of the waitresses.

Grimes said the arrest warrant was issued by the Kennebec County Superior Court Monday and results from the 10-month investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire on June 3, 2009, destroyed the coffee shop and adjoining apartments. At the time of the fire, one of those apartments was occupied by owner Donald Crabtree and six other family members, including two infants. All escaped without injury. The fire was discovered by a passing ambulance about 1 a.m.

Bellavance is described as 5’7″ tall, 150 pounds with dark hair, and numerous tattoos on both arms, the most prominent being a skull on both arms. Anyone with information on Bellavance’s whereabouts is asked to call State Police in Augusta at 624-7076, or 911 on a cell phone.

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