May 20, 2013

Neighbors: Man killed in Saco standoff was troubled

They long worried about Charles Scontras’ behavior and weren’t surprised by Saturday’s confrontation.

By Beth Quimby
Staff Writer

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click image to enlarge

Charles Scontras replaces part of the sole of a boot while working in his shop, the Saco Shoe and Leather Hospital, in 2006. Scontras died in the fire after Saturday’s standoff.

Gregory Rec/2006 Press Herald file

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Carol-Ann Scontras, estranged niece of Charles Scontras, sits near the ruins of the home that burned after a standoff Saturday in Saco. Scontras said she was weeping for her grandmother, who lived in the home until about a year ago.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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“He was so menacing. He was famous for sending long, abusive, disgusting letters,” she said.

Carol-Ann Scontras said her uncle would call the employers of family members and slander them. He refused family members any contact with his frail mother, she said. She said in the past year the family managed to remove her grandmother from the house and she now lives at a Kennebunk nursing home.

“I don’t know how she will take this,” she said.

Carol-Ann Scontras’ father, Peter, is a retired longtime Saco Middle School teacher who now owns the Way Way Store, a well-known candy store and historic landmark on Route 112. Another brother, Ted Scontras of Saco, is a bank executive.

Carol-Ann Scontras said Charles Scontras and his wife had two grown sons, both living out of state.

Charles Scontras was a real estate agent who bought back his grandfather’s shoe repair business, the Saco Shoe and Leather Hospital. He operated the shop for several years at 202 Main St., then closed it a few years ago. In a 2006 interview with the Portland Press Herald, Scontras said his grandfather, Papou Scontras, opened the business in 1919. 

The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. But Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a statement Sunday:

“Scontras set one or more fires inside the ranch style home before it was engulfed in flames Saturday night.”

An autopsy is being performed on Scontras’ body by the state Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death, McCausland said.

Saco police released no new information about the incident Sunday.

Watching the stream of cars driving through the usually quiet neighborhood Sunday morning, Carol-Ann Scontras said she wanted the burned-out house to be torn down.

“Hopefully they will get rid of this tourist attraction soon so we can get on with our lives,” she said.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at

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