AUGUSTA — The owner of an apartment building at 20 State St. in the city was cited for fire safety violations following a blaze last December at the building that left five people homeless.

On Monday at a hearing in Augusta District court, John Pedersen, 52, of Whitefield, admitted to one of the civil infractions that indicated a carbon monoxide detector was not present Dec. 9, 2014, in Augusta and was fined $500.

He also admitted to two other violations of public safety rules involving a lack of escape windows and having a noncompliant exit, but was placed on deferred disposition for a year.

If Pedersen meets conditions that include complying with the fire code and correcting all defects, those two citations can be dismissed after a year.

The citations indicated the violations were present at 6:05 a.m., which is approximately when the fire started.

Firefighters battled cold, ice and steep terrain because the building sits on an area of State Street known as Gas House Hill.

The building also sits under a number of utility lines.

According to city records, Pedersen bought the property in late 2006.

Several windows are boarded up in the structure, and it appears that it is currently unoccupied.

Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal ruled that the blaze was caused by a faulty space heater.

Fires also have hit other nearby properties recently, and some of those buildings have been razed.

A number of other cases were resolved Monday at separate hearings in Augusta District Court and Kennebec Unified Criminal Docket cases:

• Frank Lowe Anderson III, 59, of Augusta, obscuring motor vehicle plates/marks Feb. 27 in Augusta; $150 fine.

• Trista E. Barry, 41, of West Gardiner, operating vehicle without a license March 7 in West Gardiner; $100 fine.

• Rachel A. Beal, 41, of Pembroke, possession of marijuana March 19 in West Gardiner; $350 fine.

• John K. Blois, 62, of Boothbay, motor vehicle speeding 30-plus mph over the limit March 12 in Litchfield; $500 fine.

• Gerald M. Brann, 48, of Augusta; operating unregistered snowmobile March 8 in Windsor; $200 fine.

• Bradley J. Freeman, 29, of Augusta, failure to register vehicle within 30 days Oct. 30, 2014, in Hallowell; $100 fine.

• Kassandra L. Gammon, 22, of Randolph, operating while license suspended or revoked March 23 in Gardiner; $750 fine.

• Benjamin Lajoie, 24, of Vassalboro, operating snowmobile with modified exhaust March 4 in China; $100 fine.

• Terence M. O’Neill, 30, of Montville, operating while license suspended or revoked March 25 in Gardiner; $250 fine.

• Derek Shane Palange, 39, of Lewiston, failing to provide correct name, address, date of birth and violating condition of release Nov. 9, 2014, in Winthrop; 60-day jail sentence.

• Jacob Paradis, 29, of Weeks Mills, operating unregistered snowmobile March 4 in South China; $200 fine.

• Christina Pratt, 31, of Augusta, attaching false plates March 18 in Hallowell; $100 fine.

• Austin Ruest, 19, of Freeport, attaching false plates March 26 in Clinton; $100 fine.

• Ashley French Russell, 20, of Waterville; operating while license suspended or revoked April 14 in Hallowell; $750 fine.

• Derek Tabb, 31, of Sidney, possession of drug paraphernalia March 10 in Randolph; $350 fine.

• Matthew Theriault, 24, of Augusta, motor vehicle speeding 30-plus mph over speed limit and possession of a usable amount of marijuana Feb. 23 in Augusta; $1,350 in fines.

• Christopher Thomas, 25, of Westbrook, violating condition of release March 10 in West Gardiner; $200 fine.

• Scott T. Wright, 49, of Palermo, operating vehicle without a license March 31 in Vassalboro; $125 fine.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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