Brewer house fire under investigation

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 24, 2012, at 6:08 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — The State Fire Marshall’s Office has been asked to investigate a fire Tuesday afternoon that caused significant damage to a High Street house that contained two apartments.

The fire at 27 High St. was reported shortly after 2:30 p.m. and the fire was completely out by the time Sgt. Tim York of the State Fire Marshal’s Office arrived.

Though the two-story house is within a few feet of at least one other home, Brewer fire crews were able to contain the fire to the affected structure, located at the dead end of High Street and adjacent to Oak Hill Cemetery.

As of 6 p.m., no information about the fire’s cause or origin was available. Access to the area was temporary blocked with crime tape and state fire investigators and Brewer fire officials were still at the scene.

Though city fire and police officials released little information about the fire, the incident did draw an unusually heavy police response.

Brewer police Capt. Jason Moffitt and Lt. Chris Martin, who were at the fire scene along with other city police officers, acknowledged there was law enforcement interest in that address but did not disclose any particulars Tuesday afternoon.

They declined to identify who was in the house at the time or who resides there.

Stories in the Bangor Daily News archives indicate that the house has been the target of drug raids at least twice in recent years.

In April of 2009, Brewer police raided the residence on suspicion of drug activity.

At that time, Brewer police arrested a couple living there on drug trafficking and other charges and summoned a Bangor woman for illegal possession of prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Arrested and taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor were Cherish Nicole Burgess, then 21, and Peter James Tardiff, who was 23 at the time. The two, who were living together on High Street when the raid took place, both were charged with possession of methadone in its liquid form.

After a tussle in which Burgess allegedly kicked at police officers, among other things, she was charged with assault, failure to submit to detention and obstruction of justice.

Tardiff also was also charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Though not arrested, Jessica Payne of Bangor, who was 31 at the time, was charged with two counts of possession of prescription pills and with possession of drug paraphernalia.

In January 2008, Burgess and her boyfriend at that time, Duane McCarter, who was 28, were arrested at the same location after Brewer police and federal drug enforcement agents searched the home and found significant amounts of marijuana and LSD.

Burgess was charged with furnishing drugs and McCarter was charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs.

After searching the High Street house in 2008, investigators learned that McCarter had a “safe house” in Bangor, which also was searched, according to prior reports.

Police said that what they found between the two locations at that time was approximately $20,000 in cash, 2.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana and a quantity of blotter paper that was tested for the presence of LSD.

Neighbors said that Burgess has been living in southern Maine. The two apartments at 27 High St. were posted as being available for rent in a listing that was published Sunday on Craigslist.

It was not clear Tuesday if any renters had been lined up.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/24/news/bangor/brewer-house-fire-under-investigation/ printed on July 29, 2014