A Presque Isle-area man has been charged with arson in connection with fires that were allegedly set outside a store/gas station in the Kennebec County town of Litchfield late Thursday night.

The Litchfield Fire Department responded around 11:45 p.m. to reported fires in trashcans near the gas pumps at Gowell’s Shop n’ Save on Richmond Road. The store was closed at the time and the fires were extinguished before there was any major damage or life-threatening situation.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office also responded to the Litchfield store. The investigation determined that the two trash cans and some nearby grass had been deliberately set on fire, according to a news release from Shannon Moss of the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Police arrest arson suspect at the scene of Litchfield fire

Officials believe 39-year-old Robert Bowring, Jr. of Presque Isle (formerly from Ashland) was responsible for starting the fires. He was taken into custody at the scene without incident early Friday morning, Moss said.

Bowring was charged with three counts of arson and is being held at the Kennebec County Jail.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Forest Service and Maine Attorney General’s office assisted the Fire Marshal’s office during the investigation.

This article will be updated as we learn more.

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