NEWPORT, Maine — A fire Friday afternoon that gutted a home at 146 Rutland Road has been deemed suspicious and may have been set by the homeowner’s son, Newport Chief Leonard Macdaid said Friday.
Sandy Goodrich, who was not home when the fire began, called 911 to report that her son, 44-year-old Kenneth Goodrich, set the fire and killed her two dogs. Macdaid said.
Goodrich hid in the nearby woods until firefighters and police arrived, he said. Kenneth Goodrich was found walking a short distance from the house a short time later and was taken into custody and brought to a medical facility for evaluation, the chief said.
Kenneth Goodrich has not been charged in connection with the fire, but is considered a suspect, Macdaid said.
Macdaid said that the State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to investigate the cause of the fire and that Sandy Goodrich’s dogs will be examined to determine the cause of their deaths, he said.
Macdaid said Newport public safety personnel most recently dealt with Kenneth Goodrich within the last week, when firefighters had to rescue him from Sebasticook Lake several times because he kept jumping out of the boat after he had been pulled to safety. Goodrich was taken to a medical facility for evaluation but apparently was released soon afterward.
Macdaid said Friday’s tragedy is another example of a broken mental health system.
The small one-story house that burned was the scene of an October 2009 shooting that left Goodrich’s husband, Perley Goodrich Sr., dead at the hands of her other son, Perley Goodrich Jr., who also savagely beat Sandy Goodrich.
Perly Goodrich Jr. also had a history of mental illness. He was arrested after an intense five-day manhunt.
He was convicted of manslaughter in May of 2011 and is currently serving an eight year prison sentence.