BATH, Maine — A 13-year-old Bath boy was charged Saturday with arson after Maine State Fire Marshal’s investigators say he started a fire Thursday night that gutted the back of a Pearl Street home.
The boy was arrested by investigators Mary Macmaster and Kenneth Macmaster, who are not related, of the fire marshal’s office, and a Bath Police Department patrol officer, according to Sgt. Joel Davis of the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office.
He remains at Long Creek Youth Center in South Portland today.
Davis said investigators arrived at the scene Thursday night and were back on Friday, and “connected a bunch of interviews of neighbors and witnesses. After reviewing 911 calls and information, they were [allegedly] able to place the juvenile at the scene. With subsequent interviews with him and others, they felt they had enough to arrest him.”
Davis said he thinks the juvenile acted alone, and used “ordinary combustibles” such as matches or lighters, but did not use accelerants.
He declined to comment on a possible motive, but said such cases “usually fall into several categories: curiosity, excitement or maybe just a way of acting out.”
Bath firefighters arrived just before 8 p.m. Thursday at 69 Pearl St. to find the right rear of the two-story home fully involved, with flames showing on three sides including across the back and up to the second story, Bath Fire Chief Stephen Hinds said at the scene.
Approximately 42 firefighters worked the scene, with Brunswick and West Bath providing mutual aid. The fire was knocked down in about 10 minutes, but destroyed the rear of the building.
The home is owned by Debbie Patterson, who lives there with her 16-year-old son, Nick.
Hinds said the home is uninhabitable due to “a lot of heat and broken glass,” and the rear of the building was “gutted.” However, the front section can be “washed up and painted,” he said.
Arson is a Class A felony when prosecuted in adult courts, Davis said.
A pending date in juvenile court was not available Tuesday afternoon.