GORHAM – An unoccupied house was targeted in the latest in a string of suspicious fires in town, but the house was spared by the direction of the wind, the state Fire Marshal’s Office says.

The fire at 363 Sebago Lake Road, near an entrance to the now-closed White Rock Elementary School, was reported around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday. It was the sixth suspicious fire in Gorham since March 27.

Five of the fires, including Wednesday’s, are considered arson. Investigators are awaiting lab results to confirm whether the other one was arson.

The farmhouse-style home where the fire was set Wednesday had housed 3rd Generation Automotive. A sign on a nearby building that also was used by the company indicated it had gone out of business.

Grass behind the house was burned, and parts of the property were cordoned off with yellow police tape.

Authorities won’t say specifically how they believe the fire started, why they think the house was the target or where the fire was set.

“It’s obvious it was the luck of the wind that prevented this building from going up in flames,” said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

George Dachowski was asleep in his home across Sebago Lake Road when he was awakened by the lights of fire and police vehicles. He said several firefighters with flashlights were looking around in the upper level of the house across the street, and a police officer knocked on his door around 3 a.m. to ask if he had seen anything suspicious.

Dachowski, a retired cruise salesman, said he and others are feeling the need to be vigilant. He said he had been video recording vehicles that had been around the property since the fire.

“Everybody will be happy when the damn things are over, I’ll tell you that,” he said.

The first of the suspicious fires was set March 27 at a home on Spiller Road. The next, on March 31, leveled the SnoGoers clubhouse on Mighty Street. The next morning, a house on Great Falls Road that was undergoing renovations was destroyed.

On April 8, a fire on Buck Street — the one fire that has yet to be confirmed as arson — destroyed a garage. Three days later, a fire caused minor damage to a wall of an unoccupied house on Dingley Spring Road.

Investigators believe that the same person or people are responsible for all of the fires, said Sgt. Joel Davis of the state Fire Marshal’s Office. He would not say why, other than that it was the type of fires and the way they were set.

Authorities are still fielding tips from the public, he said. The investigation involves the Fire Marshal’s Office, the Gorham fire and police departments, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

People with information about the fires are asked to call police at 839-5581 or send email to [email protected]

“We want to find the person or persons responsible,” Davis said. “We’re hoping some alert citizen is going to observe something that breaks the case wide open.”

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

[email protected]