PARIS – The lawyer for a Rumford man charged with setting his hotel room on fire said Tuesday that the man is not criminally responsible by reason of insanity.

Jason M. Fortier, 27, of Hartford Street, pleaded not guilty in Oxford County Superior Court to arson and aggravated criminal mischief. He remained at the Oxford County Jail on $1,000 bail.

The fire occurred on Feb. 17 in Fortier’s third-floor apartment in the Hotel Harris. The blaze was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system but caused an estimated $15,000 damage to the apartment and adjacent rooms.

According to an affidavit by Lt. Daniel Garbarini of the Rumford Police Department, Fortier said he intended to kill himself with the fire and started it with lighter fluid and a Zippo lighter. He said he left the building after starting the fire and went to Rumford Hospital seeking treatment for voices in his head.

Fortier was arrested three days after the fire when he was released from Spring Harbor Hospital, a mental health facility in Windham. In March, Justice Robert Crowley ordered Fortier to take a mental examination to determine his competency.

If he is released from jail, Fortier must not use or possess alcohol, drugs or incendiary devices; have no contact with builder owner Michael Simpson or enter the property; and take medications as prescribed.

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