NORWAY — A man accused of setting fire to a boarding house admitted to investigators that he set the fire, according to an affidavit by officer Daniel Young, an investigator at the Maine Fire Marshal’s Office.
Todd Fickett, 18, voluntarily went to the Norway fire station Monday morning and waited for police to interview him. He said burning down the house was an accident and that he knew what he’d done was wrong, according to the affidavit.
Fickett told Young that late Sunday night, he went into his first-floor apartment and lit seven to eight books of matches and put them in a can, intending to cause smoke and annoy other tenants. Fickett had been in an argument with another tenant Sunday, the affidavit said.
Fickett said he then fell asleep in a recliner and when he woke up, the can had fallen over and the fire had spread across the floor.
He said he grabbed his jacket and keys and jumped out through a window. However, two witnesses who saw him running from the building said he had a backpack as well.
At the time, Fickett was using his brother’s name, Travis, but investigators determined he was using a false name. Two witnesses who knew Fickett said he used his brother’s name when he got in trouble, and other residents of the boarding house knew him as Todd.
Young said Fickett signed his name on a summons as Travis, which constitutes aggravated forgery, according to Young’s affidavit. That charge could be added.
Young said that when he approached Fickett about his real name and read him his Miranda warning, Fickett admitted his real name and stopped talking.
Witnesses told Young that at around noon on Sunday, Fickett had an argument with Jayson Hill, another boarding house resident.
Hill said Fickett had been stealing food from him, and that he’d demanded $20 for the food he said Fickett had stolen. Fickett allegedly told Hill “I’m going to kill you” when confronted about the food before leaving, according to the affidavit.
Hill was awake playing video games when the fire started, according to the affidavit. On Monday, other residents credited him with banging on doors and helping to evacuate the building.
Fickett was born on Norway, according to the affidavit. On his booking sheet, he was listed as “homeless.” He faces one charge of arson, Class A. His bail is set at $50,000 cash.
Editor’s note: Fickett’s age was wrong. He is 18. It was a reporting error.