Suspects Sought in Maine Arson Case - NECN
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Suspects Sought in Maine Arson Case

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    Maine Authorities Investigating Arson Case

    Investigators believe a fire in Sanford, Maine, was caused by arson.

    (Published Monday, July 8, 2019)

    Police in Sanford, Maine, are looking for two suspects in an arson investigation.

    Just before 4:30 a.m. Saturday, two men were seen on a home surveillance system on Montreal Street in Sanford. Moments later, the video shows a bright flash and the two men running away from what became the scene of a large fire.

    The fire burned for hours and completely destroyed the single family home at 26 Montreal St., badly damaging the side of 24 Montreal St.

    Three people in the home and five in the apartments were displaced.

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    According to Sanford Fire Chief, Steve Benotti, the single-family home has been completely destroyed. The apartments next door can be repaired.

    Benotti said Monday that investigators were "making progress," adding that the fire started on the front porch of 26 Montreal St.

    Neighbors continue to walk by the fire scene and reflect on what happened.

    Nathan Rohner lives next door to the burned out shell of the house. He says he, his girlfriend, his child and his stepchildren were all forced to evacuate their house early Saturday morning.

    "By some miracle, it didn't come this way," said Rohner. "We thought this was the end of this place."

    Though some of the siding of the apartment Rohner rents started to bubble, his family was allowed to return home a short time after the fire was put out.

    But even on Monday, days after the fire, Rohner still has concerns.

    "Honestly, we haven't been sleeping well for the past couple nights. "It's been pretty terrifying," he said. "I'm afraid they'll come back, that maybe they missed something, maybe they got the wrong house."

    Rohner also described the neighborhood he lives in as "not very safe in general."

    It's a sentiment other neighbors agree with.

    "There's always been trouble around here," said Rachel Carpentier, who lives across the street from Rohner. "I do know that there are things going on over there."

    Carpentier says there have been drug dealing incidents, even serious ones like a hostage situation, dating back to the 1970s in the area around her street.

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    She personally had good relationships with all the occupants of the home. One of them even helped her build an access ramp onto her home.

    Dennis Baillargeon also says he did not have any direct problems with the people at 26 Montreal St., but that there was some activity there that raised questions.

    "There were a lot of people that came and went from this house," he said. "It was suspicious as to what was going on."

    Anyone with information about the men seen in the video is asked to called the Sanford Police Department or the Maine Fire Marshal's Office.

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