Police make one arrest in weekend arson fire

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Police in Portland have made an arrest in an arson fire behind the Portland Museum of Art Sunday night. Portland Police say they arrested 19-year-old Robert Johnson, who's from Portland, just minutes after the fire behind the Portland Museum of Art was set. He's charged with class A arson.

But they say they are still investigating whether that fire is connected to a string of arson fires that were set on Saturday night. Most of them were in dumpsters or trash cans, all within the same square mile of the city. They were reported on Center Street, Forest Avenue, Commercial Street, Danforth Street, and Congress Street. The fire department says no significant damage was done in any of them.

Now investigators are trying to determine whether other people are involved, and if Johnson is responsible for any of the other fires.

Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria said even small fires can cause big problems.

LaMoria said, "Arson is a serious crime, and it puts people and property in danger. It's very serious. These incidents did cause damage. They also tied up resources, very important, live saving resources, that could have been called on for a true emergency that risked peoples lives."

If you saw anything suspicious around dumpsters or trash cans near those fires over the weekend -- you're asked to give Portland Police a call at 874-8533.


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