June 21, 2018
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Group home resident accused of arson

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

GORHAM, Maine — A resident of the Granite Bay Group Home is facing charges after she allegedly started a fire in the kitchen early Monday, police said.

Danielle Jenness, 20, was arrested and charged with arson and aggravated criminal mischief, according to Detective Sgt. Dana Thompson of the Gorham Police Department. She is being held at the Cumberland County Jail, where bail has yet to be set, Thompson said.

Gorham police officers and firefighters received a report of a kitchen fire at the Shaws Mill Road facility at 4:15 a.m. Monday, Thompson said, and upon arrival learned the fire had been extinguished.

Evidence at the scene proved that the fire was not accidental but intentional, and Jenness allegedly used combustible materials and ignited them on the kitchen stove in a position where the fire could spread to the countertop and cupboard areas, Thompson said.

“The fire did spread to that area before it was extinguished by a staff member,” he said.

No residents or staff members were injured in the fire, which caused approximately $1,000 in damage, Thompson said.

Monday’s incident marks the second arson at Granite Bay Group Home’s Gorham facility in less than a year, according to Thompson. The home caters to adults with physical disabilities.

In August 2012, Jeremy Crouse was arrested after setting a couch on fire at the home. He was indicted on an arson charge and his case is still pending.

Gorham police have dealt with Jenness before, Thompson said. She wandered away from the home in January, but was found the next evening by Portland police.

Jenness is expected to appear in court Wednesday, according to Thompson.

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