A Winthrop man was arrested Thursday on a charge of arson after he allegedly burned down his mobile home on Route 133, police said.

It’s the second time authorities have arrested 64-year-old Charles Reed on arson charges in the last three years. Reed also was charged with arson in 2014 — and ultimately pleaded guilty to the charge — after a fire burned down his mobile home on Blue Rock Road in Monmouth.

Now Reed is accused of starting the fire that destroyed his home on Route 133 in Winthrop, investigators from the state fire marshal’s office said in a news release from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Investigators also charged Reed with violating conditions of release.

Several Winthrop-area fire departments went to fight the blaze, which was reported just after 2 a.m. The home was located at 386 Route 133, just northwest of the intersection where Route 133 splits away from Route 41 and heads toward Wayne.

“It was pretty much a total loss by the time we arrived,” said Chief Dan Brooks, of the Winthrop Fire Department, one of the first responders at the scene. “We had the fire knocked down within the first half hour, but we were delayed a little bit because (Central Maine Power) had to cut the power so we could safely get around the whole building.”

Units from the Winthrop and Monmouth fire departments and from the Lakes Region Mutual Aid group responded. They knocked the fire down in 30 minutes, but remained there until about 5 a.m. to make sure the scene was safe and the fire wouldn’t reignite, Brooks said.

Reed escaped from the home without any injuries by the time firefighters arrived, Brooks said. The fire started on one side the home and spread across it, Brooks said. Just a small section of the home was still standing when firefighters arrived.

Brooks said he did not know whether Reed’s home was insured.

Police from Winthrop and Monmouth and rescuers from the Winthrop Ambulance Service went to the scene, along with four investigators from the fire marshal’s office.

Reed was taken to the Kennebec County jail on Thursday, McCausland said. Fire marshals continue to investigate the cause of the fire.

After the 2014 fire that burned Reed’s mobile home in Monmouth, he pleaded guilty to charges of arson and failure to report or control a dangerous fire, according to court documents.

At the time, investigators accused him of lighting the fire using fireworks, a charcoal grill and medical records soaked in kerosene. Reed admitted having set that fire while suffering a mental health crisis, investigators said.

As part of his plea, Reed agreed to report to the Kennebec County Co-Occurring Disorders and Veterans Court, which is partly for people suffering significant mental illness. He also agreed to probation terms that included not using any kind of firearms or explosives, not going to the mobile home park where he lit the fire and paying $2,074 in restitution to the Monmouth Fire Department.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker


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