WATERVILLE — A fire in a residential assisted living center on Pleasant Street Sunday was a case of arson, according to a state fire official.

“It is considered an intentionally set fire,” said Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state fire marshal’s office.

Grimes said Monday that a suspect has been identified in the fire, but he would not release information about how the fire was set.

“We are going to be conferring with the district attorney’s office on the next steps to proceed,” he said.

The fire was reported at 7:56 a.m. Sunday at a home operated by Motivational Services Inc., an Augusta-based organization that provides services and programs for people with mental illness. Five people were evacuated from the home to which firefighters responded.

The fire was contained to just one room, according to Grimes.

“It was a small fire with minimal damage,” Grimes said Monday. “The sprinkler system did its job and held the fire at bay and, in fact, extinguished it before the fire department arrived.”

Grimes called the fire a “room and content” fire, which means it was contained to one room and its contents and did not spread throughout the building, he said.

The fire was the third arson to occur in Waterville in a week. On March 27, a pickup truck parked at 43 Elm St. was destroyed by fire, and five minutes later a fire was reported in a closet just inside the entrance to an apartment building at 58 Silver St. about 100 yards from the truck fire.

State fire investigators also were called to investigate those fires.

“We’re still picking away at that as we have time,” Grimes said of the fires.

Asked if the Elm and Silver street fires are related to the fire on Pleasant Street Sunday, Grimes said they are not.

“Officially, there’s no indication that they are,” he said. “We believe that the fire yesterday was a unique incident to that location.”

A week before the Elm and Silver street fires, an Oakland mobile home was destroyed by fire at 431 Trafton Road near the Waterville city line. Grimes said at the time that the fire was set outside the home and the homeowners were away for the winter.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17.

 


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