Woman Charged with Starting Massive Blaze That Consumed Pittston Residence
On May 10, a woman in Pittston was issued a summons for an outdoors burning violation for a fire that destroyed her home and spread to another building nearby. Officials from the Forest Protection division of the Maine Forest Service refused to provide documentation of the initial summons to the Kennebec Journal, claiming they would not release information pertaining to an ongoing investigation. On August 26, the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office filed a Class E misdemeanor charge against the woman for failing to extinguish a fire, at which time the original summons documents were released to the public.
The summons was only released on Friday [August 26], about a week after the [Kennebec Journal’s] lawyer, Sigmund Schutz, made a renewed request for the documentation under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, writing that a summons issued by the Forrest Service is official enforcement action and a public document whether or not it has been filed with the court and regardless of whether criminal charges are pursued.