AUGUSTA — An Augusta man was arrested early Monday and charged with arson for allegedly setting a fire inside his apartment late Sunday that forced nine other tenants to evacuate the building.

Larry Doyen

Larry Doyen, 45, was charged with setting the fire at his apartment at 23 Western Ave., according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

McCausland said a sprinkler system in the 10-unit apartment building kept fire damage to a minimum, but the other nine tenants had to spend the night elsewhere.

Fire investigators confirmed a cardboard box inside Doyen’s apartment had been set on fire.

The fire was reported at 11:51 p.m. Sunday. Some firefighters were on the scene for about two hours, according to dispatch records.

Shannon Flaherty, an assistant district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said Doyen called from a nearby Dunkin’ shortly after the blaze and admitted he had set a box on fire inside his apartment.

Flaherty said Doyen was also charged in 2010 with arson, but was found not criminally responsible.

On Monday, Doyen was charged with Class A arson, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and taken to the Kennebec County jail in Augusta.

Lisa Whittier, representing Doyen as the lawyer of the day, said Monday at his arraignment that a mental health evaluation should be done to determine whether Doyen is criminally responsible and mentally competent to proceed in the legal system. Whittier said Doyen has a case manager at Riverview Psychiatric Center’s Outpatient Services.

Whittier said Doyen could be subject to an order requiring he be sent back to Riverview, “which could be the best thing to happen to him at this moment.”

Justice William Stokes said he planned to contact Doyen’s case manager at Riverview to arrange for a forensic evaluation of Doyen’s mental status.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash with conditions including Doyen not possess incendiary devices and not return to 23 Western Ave.

Doyen said Monday he would not be able to make bail.

“There is no person who would bail me out, so you might as well not set it,” said Doyen, who has long, dreadlocked hair and a beard and was wearing a green jail uniform in court.

The apartment building is owned by Kennebec Valley Mental Health, according to city assessing records.

Doyen’s next court date is scheduled for May 14.

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.