Investigators with the Office of State Fire Marshal charged a Waterville man with setting fire to his apartment over the weekend.

Michael Jerrier, 46, of 17 College Ave., was arrested and charged with Class A arson on Sunday. Investigators say Jerrier set fire to a mattress in his bedroom late Saturday night, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Capt. John Gromek of the Waterville Fire Department said Sunday that the fire call came in just after 11 p.m. from 17 College Ave., just a few doors down from Waterville’s central fire station at 7 College Ave.

No one was injured.

Gromek said firefighters had to force their way into apartment 2 after a report of smoke coming from around the door.

The fire was quickly put out by Waterville firefighters and there was no damage to the other apartments in the building.

He said the fire was quickly located and extinguished. No one was in the apartment when firefighters arrived at the 15-unit apartment house, owned by Waterville Oaks LLC.

All of the other tenants of the building were able to return to their apartments.

Stefan Buzzell, 20, who lives across the hall from apartment 2 with his fiancée, said he alerted the other occupants of the building and all managed to get out safely.

“This guy across the hall — his name is Michael — came knocking on my door and walked in and didn’t say hello or anything … and nonchalantly said ‘The house is on fire’ and he walks out of the building,” Buzzell said Sunday. “There was black smoke billowing out of the door.

“I started yelling ‘fire.’ I opened up the door about an inch, and when I opened the door of apartment 2 the door was hot and smoke poured out.”

Buzzell said he alerted tenants in the rest of the building and called the fire department as people evacuated the building.

McCausland said Jerrier has a history of self-inflicted burn injuries. Fire marshals investigated two instances in 2016 where Jerrier burned himself with a cigarette lighter.

Jerrier was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Waterville for evaluation after the latest fire and was arrested Sunday morning upon his release from the hospital. Jerrier was taken to the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta. Waterville Police assisted fire investigators, according to McCausland.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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