AUBURN — An Auburn man has been charged with arson and attempted arson after a blaze destroyed a historic three-story home at 63 Academy St. early Sunday morning. 

Justin Knight, 33, of 138 Spring St. was arrested at the Androscoggin County Jail and charged with two counts of arson and two counts of attempted arson. According to jail records, all charges are Class A felonies, which are punishable by up to 30 years in prison. 

Police arrested Knight on Sunday morning at a nearby residence on an unrelated misdemeanor domestic violence charge. The additional charges came after an investigation into the fire. 

Knight lived near the historic building, but has no connection with it, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland wrote in a news release Monday. “The fire apparently was random,” he noted.

McCausland said investigators believe Knight set two fires on the outside of the building and attempted to set two cars, parked nearby, on fire. The car fires were unsuccessful. 

No injuries were reported.

Of the nine rented units, five were occupied when the fire broke out early Sunday. No one was hurt in the blaze, according to Auburn fire officials.

The Charles A. Jordan House at 63 Academy St. was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

The blaze consumed the third floor as firefighters from the Twin Cities battled it from atop ladder trucks and from the street.

Knight is held in lieu of $25,000 cash bail on the arson charges.

In a sworn affidavit filed by police, Knight told officers he punched a woman in the face at his Spring Street home early Sunday morning. Afterward, he punched a mirror, cutting his hand and shattering the mirror.

He said she had accused him of infidelity.

— Staff Writer Jon Bolduc contributed to this report

Justin Knight, 33, of Auburn was charged with arson after a blaze destroyed a historic home on Academy Street in Auburn early Sunday morning.

Fire destroyed the historic Charles A. Jordan House at 63 Academy St. early Sunday morning. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

A crew on a Lewiston Fire Department ladder truck attacks flames at a historic three-story home at 63 Academy St. in Auburn late Sunday night. (Chasity Latham photo)

An early morning fire Sunday destroyed a historic home at 63 Academy St. in Auburn. (Shawna Rogers photo)


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