June 23, 2018
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Blaze that damaged Boothbay Harbor home was arson, fire marshal says

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine — Investigators are investigating the cause of a fire Sunday that caused severe damage to a home that was being renovated, according to Boothbay Harbor Fire Chief Glenn Townsend.

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office concluded that the fire was set, according to a press release from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Townsend said a motorist on Middle Road reported the fire at about 8:40 a.m. Sunday. By the time fire crews arrived, the flames had weakened the floor and roof trusses enough to cause firefighters to have to fight the blaze from outside, using water from a nearby hydrant. The fire started in the northeast corner of the 1½-story home, which had been partially gutted for renovation purposes.

Townsend, who is also a building contractor, estimated that there was at least $50,000 in damage but that it’s possible the home can be rebuilt. It is owned by Harris & Sons Construction, he said.

Crews from Southport and Boothbay helped fight the blaze, and a truck from Edgecomb was on standby. Townsend said that because it was a Sunday, there was a strong turnout in terms of personnel.

According to McCausland, the State Fire Marshal’s Office also determined that fires over the weekend in Vassalboro, Rumford, Detroit and Milo were also arson. Three teenage boys have been charged in connection with the fires in Vassalboro and Rumford.

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