May 28, 2020
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St. Francis man charged with arson after weekend fire at town’s post office

Jessica Potila | Fiddlehead Focus
Jessica Potila | Fiddlehead Focus
A St. Francis man was able to escape a fire that destroyed his home on Saturday morning.

ST. FRANCIS, Maine — A St. Francis man has been accused of arson following a Saturday morning fire in a Main Street building which houses both a residence and the local post office.

Stuart McBreairty, 43, was arrested Sunday and charged with arson.

The owner of the building, Mike Abbott, lives in the residence at the back of the building and woke up at around 2:30 a.m. to discover his home was in flames. Abbott fled from the building and was then nearly struck by a live electric wire that fell to the ground as he was making his escape, according to St. Francis Fire Chief Gerald Jandreau.

Abbott was the only person in the building during the fire, and no pets were inside. Jandreau recognized that the fire was suspicious and contacted the Office of the State Fire Marshal to investigate the cause of the fire, which originated outside in the back of the building where Abbott lives.

About a dozen volunteer St. Francis firefighters responded to the scene of the fire and were assisted by firefighters from Fort Kent and Allagash. The Maine State Police assisted with the investigation, and Emera Maine assisted at the scene of the fire.

McBreairty was being held at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton.

This story was originally published in the Fiddlehead Focus.

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