ELLSWORTH — A Maine fire marshal arrested a transient man who allegedly set fire to a trash can outside Mike’s Country Store Tuesday afternoon, according to Maine Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.
“Fire investigators arrested 46-year-old Patrick Nevells, who is a transient living in the Ellsworth area,” McCausland said.
“Investigators say a passing motorist saw Nevells set fire to the trash can in the front of the store and then walk off Tuesday afternoon,” McCausland said.
The motorist reported the fire to the store manager, who ran out with a fire extinguisher and moved the trash can away from the building.
“Nevells was arrested when he returned to the store about three hours later and employees recognized him,” the spokesman said.
Nevells was charged with arson.
The Ellsworth Fire Department responded, but the fire had been extinguished by bystanders before the department arrived, said Ellsworth Deputy Fire Chief Gary Saunders.
Ellsworth Police Officer Amie Torrey assisted.
McCausland said Nevells is from Portland. Nevells was still incarcerated at the Hancock County Jail Wednesday.