Arson ruled as cause in Gorham fire

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A trailer fire last week in Gorham that left one man homeless has been ruled arson.

“We have exhausted looking for every possible cause of this fire and arson is what we have decided it to be,” Gorham Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre said Tuesday.

There are no leads or suspects at this time, Lefebvre said.

The Gorham Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the mobile home blaze at 3 Farrington Road, which was called in shortly before 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Crews from Gorham, Buxton and Standish responded to the home of Jim Appertier, 62. Firefighters had the blaze under control just after 10 a.m., but smoke still billowed from the gutted, single-wide green trailer.

No one was injured in the fire.

Appertier, who works at Scarborough Downs, was not home when the fire started. He arrived at the scene shortly after 10 a.m. and frantically ran to his house. Several firefighters held him back as he tried to get into his home to search for his cat.

Firefighters calmed Appertier down after he struggled for a minute to get inside his home. He searched an adjacent shed looking for his pet.

His cat was later found alive.

Appertier could not be reached for comment about the arson.

John Waycotte, 70, who lives up the road on Route 25, owned the home and rented it to Appertier for several years.

He said he is shocked that the fire was deliberately set. Waycotte, who said he was diagnosed with cancer the day before the fire, said a neighbor called him about the blaze shortly after 9 a.m., and he rushed to the house after calling Appertier at work.

“I don’t know why someone would do something like this,” he said Tuesday. “I don’t know who would’ve started this fire. This was my extra source of income besides my Social Security.”

A Gorham firefighter pulls hoses out of a house that fire destroyed last Wednesday on Farrington Road. The Gorham Fire Department and State Fire Marshall’s office have deemed arson to be the cause of the blaze that destroyed the home.

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