Former USM student charged with arson in connection with 2012 dormitory fire

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, at 12:07 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 21, 2014, at 4:52 p.m.
Thomas &quotTJ" Williams
Cumberland County Sheriff's Office
Thomas "TJ" Williams

GORHAM, Maine — A former University of Southern Maine student has been charged with two counts of arson in connection with a 2012 fire in a dormitory on the school’s Gorham campus.

Thomas “TJ” Williams, 23, was arrested Monday at his parents’ home in Mexico, according to a release from Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The fire began about 2:30 a.m. Sept. 3, 2012, in a recycling closet in Upton-Hastings Hall. More than 200 students were in the building at the time, but no injuries were reported, McCausland’s release states.

The fire was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system.

According to McCausland, Williams was a student at USM at the time but later left school. A Cumberland County grand jury indicted him on the arson charges earlier this month.

The state fire marshal’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the incident at the bureau’s laboratory in Maryland. The investigation included a computer-generated re-enactment of the fire and a mock fire of a replica of the closet.

Williams was released from Cumberland County Jail. He is scheduled to appear later this week in Cumberland County Superior Court.

 

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