The state Fire Marshal’s Office has launched an arson investigation into coordinated, nearly simultaneous fires Sunday night that destroyed six trucks and damaged two others at two facilities belonging to a Maine trucking company.

The big-rig tractors were parked at R.C. Moore depots in Scarborough and Poland, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The fires broke out just before 8:20 p.m. Sunday and were reported within three minutes of each other, he said. Damage to the rigs is estimated at $750,000 – although all were insured, the company said.

McCausland said the circumstances point to the involvement of at least two people.

“It is very unlikely this is a coincidence,” he said.

At at a press briefing Monday afternoon in Poland, McCausland said it was too early in the investigation to discuss a possible cause and point of origin for the fires.

Kelly Moore, an owner of the trucking firm, said police will comb through surveillance footage to look for clues.

Moore said the Poland blaze was reported by a passer-by. The Scarborough fire was reported by a truck driver who was sleeping in his cab’s berth when he awoke to crackling sounds, saw the fire, moved his truck and reported the flames.

Moore said his company is looking at whether any former employees might have had a reason to try to damage his equipment or harm workers.

“We hire people every week and we seem to have people getting done every week,” Moore said. “As far as disgruntled employees, I don’t think we can say we can put our finger on anything at all.”

Moore said the destruction of the trucks was stressful, but it did not affect the operation of the company, which owns 220 vehicles across several states.

McCausland said investigators want to find the driver of a gray sedan with a green door and a yellow light on top that pulled into the Poland depot between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The driver of the car left abruptly when an employee went to ask what the person was doing in the company’s lot.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as state troopers from the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit will continue to investigate the fires.

R.C. Moore is headquartered in Scarborough and has locations in Pennsylvania, Florida and the Carolinas, as well as four facilities in Maine. The company provides shipping, storage and other general freight services, its website says.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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