UPDATE: Topsham man charged with starting Navy Annex blaze

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TOPSHAM — Police have arrested a Topsham man in connection with a fire that destroyed a vacant building at the Topsham Navy Annex on Tuesday night.

Robi Saputra, 21, was arrested on a charge of arson by Topsham police and state fire marshal investigators Wednesday night, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Sapurtra was arrested without incident in the parking lot of Merrymeeting Condos, where he lives. The condos are a short distance from the annex.

Saputra was also charged with violating bail conditions for a prior unrelated drug charge.

Investigators, with assistance from U.S. Navy personnel, inspected dozens of other unoccupied buildings nearby the burned Liberty Circle building on Wednesday afternoon to see if other fires may have been set inside those buildings.

Investigators said the blaze began when a recliner was set on fire in an outdoor storage building. It spread to a carport and to the four-unit apartment building, which was gutted. No one had lived in the building for several years, and there was no electricity in the structure.

Although three friends were on the Annex property with Saputra on Tuesday night, they were not involved with the fire, fire investigators said.

The fire was reported around 10 p.m. Tuesday, and emergency crews cleared the scene at 3:39 a.m. Wednesday.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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Firefighters from Topsham, Brunswick, West Bath, Brunswick Naval Air Station, Lisbon and Freeport helped fight a fire Tuesday night and early Wednesday at the Topsham Navy Annex. The building that burned was away from any hydrants, so water had to be brought to the scene via tank trucks.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.