May 23, 2018
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Presque Isle man arrested after allegedly setting fire to NMCC apartment

Paul Wasson
By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A Presque Isle man who was visiting a friend at Northern Maine Community College on Saturday morning has been charged with arson after allegedly setting fire to a room in one of the residence halls.

Paul A. Wasson, 22, was arrested at his residence in Presque Isle on Sunday evening, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

McCausland reported Monday that the fire started at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday in an apartment in Penobscot Hall at NMMC. Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office said that the fire originated in a bedroom and was quickly extinguished by the building sprinkler system, limiting the fire damage to one room but causing significant water damage in several adjoining apartments.

Penobscot Hall was occupied by more than a dozen students and guests at the time of the fire and all escaped without injury.

Investigators, assisted by local and college officials, reviewed available security camera footage, collected witness accounts and gathered additional information, which led to the arrest, according to McCausland.

Wasson was taken to the Presque Isle Police Department where bail was set at $80,000 surety or $10,000 cash. When he was unable to post bail, Wasson was taken to the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton.

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