A Cumberland County grand jury has indicted a Portland man on charges of arson in connection with a fire that damaged a vacant building about to be renovated into artists’ studios.

The grand jury today indicted Portland resident Joshua Welch, who turned 32 today. 

Firefighters were called to 660 Congress St. at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 14 and found flames coming from the first-floor windows.

They contained the fire so that it caused only moderate damage to the first floor and smoke damage to the second and third floors. The building remained structurally sound.

Roxanne Quimby, a philanthropist and preservationist, is doing a $1.3 million conversion of the building into artists’ studios and work had just started in the days prior to the fire.
 


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