A fire that destroyed a garage and several vehicles last week outside a home on Belmont Avenue in Waterville was arson, according to the Office of Maine State Fire Marshal.

The fire was set intentionally and originated in or around the garage at 5 Belmont Ave., according to Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the fire marshal’s office. He said Monday the fire remains under investigation.

Grimes did not say whether investigators have any suspects in the case or how the fire was started.

The fire was reported around 9 p.m. Wednesday when a tenant of Robert and Deanna Butcher, who own and also live at the address in the two-apartment building off West Street, saw the fire from his window.

The garage was destroyed, along with a 2006 Dodge pickup truck and a boat. An antique half-ton military vehicle was damaged and the fire melted the vinyl siding of the house.

Waterville Fire Chief David LaFountain said at the scene that the damage to the house was minor, but the department also said in a news release the next morning that the vehicles and the garage were destroyed in the blaze.

All the occupants of the two-apartment building, owned by Robert Butcher, were evacuated safely, according to the release.

Deanna Butcher, who lives with her husband in the downstairs apartment, said Wednesday night that she thought the blaze’s origin was suspicious but doesn’t know who would have set it.

Upstairs tenant Rick Mahew discovered the fire when he smelled burning plastic, looked out the window and saw the garage in flames.

Butcher, 55, said once they saw the fire, it was already well underway. “As soon as we came outside we saw the boat, the truck, the garage — all of it — engulfed,” she said.

Others who saw the fire Wednesday night said it was preceded by what sounded like an explosion.

Belmont Avenue is off Western Avenue, near the Elm Street end. Traffic on Belmont and Western avenues was blocked off as the fire was fought.

The fire marshal’s office asks that anyone with information about the fire call 626-3870 or the Central Maine Regional Communications Center in Augusta at 624-7076.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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