Tenant arrested, charged with arson in fire that destroyed Norway apartment building

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Aug. 28—A 29-year-old Norway woman has been arrested and charged with arson after Saturday's fire in the building where she lived.

Katrina O'Connor was one of the tenants in the five-unit building at 17 Deering St. at the time of the blaze, according to a news release by Maine State Police on Sunday. Just two of the apartments were occupied and everyone got out safely.

O'Connor is being held at the Oxford County Jail without bail.

How the fire started is under investigation and details are not yet being released, Public Information Officer Shannon Moss said.

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

Bystanders said the fire started after noon. Matthew Leonard, who lives across the street, said he saw a woman with two children run from the building at 12:30, which had flames shooting out. Four people carried one woman out of the building before firefighters arrived.

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

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 cut through the roof around 3:30 p.m.

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

The building is owned by Northeast Rental Housing and assessed at $120,300, according to the town of Norway tax records.