Thursday, April 17, 2014
WATERVILLE — A South End resident faces arson charges for allegedly burning the outer wall of a garage Sunday while setting off fireworks.
Donald Fencik, 62, of 7 Paris St., was arrested Monday by Waterville police on a warrant from the State Fire Marshal's Office for class A arson.
Fencik recklessly endangered a person or the property of another with the fire and explosions, according to an affidavit and request for an arrest warrant by state fire investigator Mary MacMaster, filed Monday in Waterville District Court.
According to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey of the Waterville police on Wednesday, Officer Kyle MacDonald saw smoke coming from the garage at 2 Paris St. at 12:45 a.m. Sunday.
MacDonald said he spoke to someone who said he used water on the fire to put it out, according to Rumsey.
Others in the area told MacDonald that fireworks had been set off in the area before the fire started, according to Rumsey. Meanwhile, the Fire Department responded and determined it was safe to leave for the night, he said.
The State Fire Marshal's Office investigated the fire, and at 6:25 p.m. Monday state fire officials and MacDonald searched Fencik's home, where he was arrested.
Fencik, who allegedly had been drinking alcohol, also was summoned for violation of a condition of release, as he was free on bail after a previous charge and his bail conditions required that he abstain from alcohol, Rumsey said.
Fencik was not able to post $25,000 bail on the arson charge and was taken to the Kennebec County jail in Augusta. He is scheduled to appear July 30 in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on the arson charge; he is to appear in Waterville District Court at 8:30 a.m. July 2 on the violation of condition of release charge, Rumsey said.
Rumsey said Fencik has been convicted of charges including operating under the influence; operating after suspension, habitual offender; drinking in public; criminal trespass; burglary of a motor vehicle; theft by receiving stolen property; unauthorized use of property; and carrying a concealed weapon.
The affidavit MacMaster filed in court said that in April 2012, Fencik went to the Fire Department and demanded a burn permit, which was denied because of dangerous fire conditions.
He later burned debris anyway, left the fire unattended and was summoned for failure to control or report a dangerous fire.
Last Saturday, he was summonsed for a fireworks violation after he was reported lighting fireworks in a park. The Fire Department responded to that fire.
Rumsey said arson is a serious crime and recent fires around the state have resulted in disastrous outcomes.
"We're lucky that this (garage fire) wasn't a more serious fire," he said.
A jail spokesman said Wednesday afternoon that Fencik was still incarcerated there.
Amy Calder — 861-9247