Police: Death of woman at South Portland fire scene unsolved, but not suspicious

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Investigators are still looking for explanations after a convicted arsonist was found dead in an Ocean Street apartment when firefighters extinguished a small fire in nearby apartment.  

Maine State Police on Tuesday said the death of 24-year-old Alyssa Jensen, who was convicted of arson in 2004, is not considered suspicious and is not related to the fire.

Jensen’s body was discovered after firefighters extinguished a small fire near a kitchen stove of an apartment at 81 Ocean St. Police searched the building after Jensen was unaccounted for. 

The discovery was made in a different apartment than where the fire occurred and police believe the two incidents are not related. The apartment complex is owned and managed by Volunteers of America, a nonprofit, faith-based organization that helps people who are at-risk, disabled or recently released from prison. 

Maine Public Safety Department spokesman Stephen McCausland said the state medical examiner’s office, which performed an autopsy on Tuesday, has ordered more tests before the  cause of Jansen’s death can be determined. 

“They will be conducting toxicology tests, which take about four to six weeks to get back,” McCausland said. 

In 2004, Jensen pleaded guilty to burning down her family’s home in Fayette. Although her parents and four siblings were sleeping at the time, they all survived.

The state fire marshal’s office has not released an official cause of the fire. 

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net