A fire that damaged a Gardiner duplex and displaced its only tenant Monday night was set intentionally, investigators have determined.

The fire at 12 Highland Ave. was reported around 11:30 p.m. and was extinguished by firefighters from seven area fire departments.

The fire started on the second floor, which was vacant, according to Fire Chief Al Nelson. The second floor sustained significant damage.

Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, said Wednesday the fire has been classified as an intentionally set fire. Investigators with the fire marshal’s office went to the fire scene Monday night and returned for more work Tuesday.

Grimes confirmed the fire started on the second floor of the two-unit apartment building.

The building’s only tenant, who lives on the first floor, was at work at the time of the fire. The first floor sustained water and smoke damage. Nelson said Tuesday the tenant was staying with her family.

Grimes said it is “still early in the investigation” and there are not yet any suspects.

He said he could not discuss what caused investigators to believe the fire was set or how it was started.

Nelson and Grimes said the building is owned by David F. Dineen Jr. However, city assessing records indicate the home was owned by Dineen from 1998 to 2014. In October 2014, the listed owner was changed to the city of Gardiner. In November 2014, the listed owner was changed again, to Bank of Maine, which was later purchased by Camden National Bank, which is listed as the current owner on city records.

The blue building with white trim was built in 1860 and is assessed, for tax purposes, at $77,800.

Firefighters from Gardiner, West Gardiner, Augusta, Togus, Pittston, Randolph and Farmingdale responded to the emergency call. They were at the scene until around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Nelson said the building’s second story was “well involved” when firefighters arrived.

The fire was reported by a passer-by.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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