April 23, 2018
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Millinocket fire that destroyed shed, pickup intentionally set, investigator says

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

MILLINOCKET, Maine — A fire that destroyed a shed and pickup truck and slightly damaged a house on Iron Bridge Road earlier this month was intentionally set, a Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office investigator said Wednesday.

Investigator Tim Lowell declined to say what evidence he found that led him to this conclusion, or whether he had any suspects. Lowell is working with Millinocket Police Department investigators, he said.

Police Chief Donald Bolduc said he had no information on the case.

The fire at 103 Iron Bridge Road was reported about 4 a.m. Sept. 12 after a neighbor who heard several muffled explosions and saw the blaze called 911. Owner Arnold Batchelder and the other occupants of the residence were outside the house when firefighters arrived.

Firefighters doused a venting propane tank to keep it from exploding.

The fire appeared to have started at the rear of the shed. Heat and debris from the approximately 12-by-15-foot wooden shed melted and then ignited the front end of the pickup truck, which was described as a mid- to late-1990s model GMC.

The truck was about 15 feet from the shed. The engine compartment and dashboard were destroyed, firefighters said.

Then-Acting Fire Chief Thomas Malcolm complimented the crew of 13 firefighters who handled the incident for keeping the flames from spreading from the shed to the residence. Siding on the home melted due to the heat before the fire was doused.

No injuries were reported. Malcolm did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Wednesday.

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call Lowell at 532-5405. All calls will be kept confidential.

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