Woman arrested for arson in a fire that destroyed a building in Norway

A 29-year-old Norwegian woman was arrested on Saturday for arson, hours after a fire broke out in the building where she lived.

Katrina O’Connor, a tenant in the five-unit apartment building, was arrested and charged with arson at 2 p.m., Maine State Police said in a statement.

Investigators from the Office of the Fire Marshal responded to the five-alarm structure at 17 Deering Street. The investigation led to O’Connor’s arrest. Only two apartments in the building were occupied. O’Connor and the other tenant got out safe and sound, according to the statement. O’Connor was taken to Oxford County Jail where she is being held without bail on Sunday.

Firefighters from more than a dozen counties across the region are responding to a five-alarm fire on Saturday at 17 Deering St. in downtown Norway. Andrée Kehn/Sun Journal

How the fire started is part of the active investigation and details were not released on Sunday, public information officer Shannon Moss said.

The building was a total loss, the Lewiston Sun Journal reported on Saturday.

Passers-by said the fire started after noon. Matthew Leonard, who lives opposite the burning building, said at 12:30 p.m. he saw a woman with two children running from the burning building. Four people carried a woman out of the building before firefighters arrived.

The fire was so hot, Leonard said, that he could feel the heat from more than 50 feet away. No other homes caught fire, but an attached barn and a car parked next to the building were set on fire.

At 2:30 p.m., flames could be seen coming from the second floor of the building, and damage was visible from the first floor to the roof, the Sun Journal reported. Firefighters pierced the roof around 3:30 p.m.

The fire was brought under control by 5 p.m. Several fire departments, including Oxford, Norway, Auburn, Mechanic Falls, Poland, Raymond, Harrison, Hebron, Greenwood, Paris South and Paris West, responded to the scene.

The building is owned by Northeast Rental Housing and is valued at $120,300, according to Norwegian city tax records.

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