April 4, 2013

Augusta apartment tenant charged with arson

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A tenant has been charged with setting his couch on fire, igniting a blaze that destroyed a Northern Avenue apartment building last month.

click image to enlarge

This file photo shows 146 Northern Avenue in Augusta the morning after it was heavily damaged by a fire on March 21.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Stephen Cormier, 57, has been charged with arson in connection with the March 21 fire at 146 Northern Ave. Cormier turned himself in at the Waterville Police Department Thursday afternoon, said Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state Fire Marshal’s Office.

Cormier lived in the first-floor, front apartment where the fire originated, Grimes said.

Grimes said the fire was started with “ordinary combustibles” that caught the couch on fire.

The charges are the culmination of an investigation by Augusta police and the Fire Marshal’s Office, Grimes said.

Cormier was one of two people at home when the fire broke out. He was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta for treatment of smoke inhalation and was later released.

Cormier was arrested by Waterville police at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter in Waterville, where he was staying.


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