Fryeburg

Man charged with assault after two-day police search

A Fryeburg man was arrested Thursday and charged with domestic violence assault after a two-day search for him by local police.

Nathan Smith, 29, was arrested for what Fryeburg police described as a brutal attack on a 27-year-old woman.

Police said Saturday the attack at 11 Smith St. triggered the search. Smith was found at a friend’s house and taken into custody without incident, police said.

The woman was treated and released from Bridgton Hospital.

Smith was charged with felony domestic violence assault and violating his conditions of release on previous reckless conduct and domestic violence charges. He was released from the Oxford County Jail on $1,500 bail.

Unity

Dryer believed to be cause of fire that destroyed house

A Unity man whose home caught fire Saturday was unable to report the blaze right away because he didn’t have a telephone, and the house was destroyed, the fire chief said.

Stan Mitchell of 57 Hunter Road got out of the house quickly with his dogs, but he had to drive to two neighbors’ houses and stop someone passing by on the road before he could find a phone on which to report the fire, Unity Fire Chief David Smith said.

“There was a bit of a delay in getting the fire called in, and that gave the fire more of a chance to progress and slowed our response in getting to it,” he said. “It was heavily involved when we arrived.”

The house – which belongs to Jim and Brenda Booton of Florida and is rented by Mitchell – was destroyed and two other buildings on the property were damaged, Smith said.

The fire, which was reported at 7:20 a.m., is believed to have started in a propane-powered dryer minutes after Mitchell turned it on, and the blaze spread quickly, Smith said. The Office of the State Fire Marshal will investigate at the scene Monday, but the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

Firefighters from Freedom, Thorndike and Troy also responded, and firefighters remained on the scene until about 11 a.m. No injuries were reported.

South Portland

Authorities urging boaters to focus on safe practices

The Maine Marine Patrol and the Coast Guard are urging boaters to focus on safety as they get their boats ready for the season.

Maine Marine Patrol Pilot Steve Ingram said it’s important to remind boaters of safe practices as the state approaches the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the boating season in Maine.

On Saturday, the Coast Guard, Maine Marine Patrol, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors hosted a BoatSMART event at the Coast Guard Base in South Portland.

The water remains cold even though temperatures have been rising.

A week ago, a Presque Isle man drowned but two other men escaped when their canoe capsized in the icy waters of Echo Lake.

– From staff and news services