A Canaan man was charged Friday with arson in connection with a fire that destroyed a mobile home in Canaan last September.

Fire investigators charged Matthew Short, 30, with arson, burglary and aggravated cruelty to animals. He was arrested at his home on Browns Corner Road on Friday morning, according to a news release from Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Short’s girlfriend, Sheena Moshier, 30, was also arrested at the home on unrelated charges of forgery, negotiating a worthless instrument and traffic offenses. Both were taken to the Somerset County Jail.

The Sept. 21 fire destroyed a mobile home near Short’s home. No one was home at the time, but four dogs and three cats died inside.

McCausland said he was not sure how well Short knew the residents of the mobile home, who discovered the fire when they returned home.

Short allegedly entered the home before setting the house on fire, but did not take anything, and “it’s hard to believe he didn’t know the animals were inside since there were seven of them,” he said.

Authorities have not said how the fire was started and its specific cause remains under investigation, McCausland said.

Short is being held on $50,000 bail and will likely make his first court appearance Monday. Moshier’s bail was set at $2,000.

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