Bail amended for Jay woman accused of setting mobile home on fire

Amanda Morey
Courtesy of Franklin County Jail
Amanda Morey
Posted Aug. 09, 2011, at 5:41 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 09, 2011, at 7:44 p.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A District Court judge set bail at personal recognizance and supervised release under a pretrial service agreement on Monday for a Jay woman accused of setting fire to her mobile home on Friday.

Judge Valerie Stanfill also prohibited Amanda Morey from possessing incendiary devices at the state’s request.

State fire investigators arrested Morey, 28, on a felony charge of arson in connection to the burning of her mobile home at 3 BJ’s Lane off Route 140 in Jay. It was the second time since Thursday firefighters were called to put out a fire at the home Morey owns with her husband, Adam Morey.

A conviction on a charge of felony carries up to 30 years in prison. Morey remained in jail on the arson charge over the weekend on $5,000 cash bail.

Senior state fire investigator Richard Shepard initially classified the fire on Thursday that heavily damaged the home as undetermined pending further investigation.

State fire investigator Edward Hastings IV wrote in his affidavit filed with the court in relation to Friday’s fire that he spoke to Amanda Morey on Friday. Hastings, an investigator with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, wrote in his affidavit that Morey told him that she went into the residence at around 8:45-8:50 a.m. on Friday to see what items could be salvaged.

Morey told Hastings that inside the master bedroom, she moved her bed that she described was soaking wet due to the fire suppression on Thursday, Aug. 4.

Morey then picked up her wedding dress, which was wrapped in a white plastic clothing bag, the affidavit states.

“This bag was completely undamaged by fire, though did appear slightly smoke stained,” Hastings wrote. “There were no burn marks on this bag or dress.”

Morey told Hastings that after moving the bag containing the dress, smoke started to appear from the edge of the bed, which was about 18 inches away, he said.

“Within seconds, Ms. Morey said she saw a flame [shoot] up the side of the bed extending to the curtain, at which time she fled the residence,” Hastings wrote.

While leaving, Morey called her mother, not 911, to report the house was on fire again.

Jay police officer Nicholas Gulliver arrived on the scene within minutes and observed fire in what appeared to be two areas in the same corner of the bedroom where Morey said the fire started, according to the affidavit. It is possible one of these fires is a drop down fire from the curtains that were burning, Hastings wrote.

During the investigation it was discussed that the master bedroom was not really affected by the initial fire, Hastings wrote.

The only damage found in the room on Thursday, Aug. 4, consisted of the vent hole cut in the ceiling by firefighters.

“Investigator Shepard was certain that there was no way a fire rekindled in the area of the bed and the wall,” Hastings wrote.

“After completing a complete fire scene examination we were able to determine that this fire originated within ordinary combustibles and doesn’t preset fire patterns consistent with a rekindle-type fire. Based on scene observations this fire was most likely started around the ordinary combustibles, [bed and-or the curtain] and was likely ignited with an open-flame device,” he wrote.

Numerous interviews were conducted through the investigation with Morey and others.

“One thing is very consistent; Ms. Morey has changed the details pertaining these fires nearly every time she relays what happened,” Hastings wrote.

Through the investigation, “we are able to prove that Ms. Morey is the only person who had exclusive access to this residence for as long as 20 minutes prior to this fire,” the affidavit states.

“Ms. Morey wasn’t smoking in this residence prior to the fire today and describes fire development that is inconsistent with how rekindle-type fires develop,” Hastings wrote.

“After careful examination of the fire scene, collection and analysis of evidence along with interviews conducted, it is the opinion of this investigator that this fire was intentionally started by Amanda Morey,” he wrote.

“This fire recklessly endangered all fire personnel who responded to the scene and recklessly endangered the property of another due to the close proximity of this residence in relation to properties located in the trailer park,” Hastings wrote.

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