© 2021 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Suspicious Truck Fires Under Investigation

A team of state and federal investigators is trying to pinpoint who’s behind two separate fires that destroyed six tractor trailer cabs owned by the same company in Scarborough and Poland Sunday night causing close to a million dollars in damage.

Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety says what appear to be coordinated arsons are unusual for Maine.  The first one was reported at 8:16 in Scarborough by a truck driver who was sleeping in his rig on-site.

“He heard crackling and then opened the blinds, saw that one of the trucks was on fire,” McCausland said. “He backed his unit out of harm’s way and then called 911.”

Three minutes later a passing motorist spotted several more trucks on fire at R.C. Moore’s Poland location. Now investigators from the State Fire Marshall’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are scouring the wreckage, looking for clues about how the fires started and who might be responsible. The company has shared video surveillance from both sites that could assist them.

McCausland said, “Their IT people are working with the fire marshall investigators, looking at that footage to see whether there’s anything there that might help give investigators they’re seeking.”

One question they have is why a gray car with a green driver’s door and an amber light on top pulled into the Poland location, turned around and abruptly drove off around 3:00 Sunday afternoon when someone came out to talk. McCausland says it’s unclear whether the incidents are connected but they’d like to talk to the driver. Meanwhile, the company’s president, Kelly Moore, says he has no idea about a possible motive.

“We feel that we have a good relationship with the communities and with the people that work for us,” said Moore. “So we’re not quite sure why it happened but hopefully these people will get to the bottom of it.”

Moore says until now the company had never even had a report of vandalism. R.C. Moore employs about 280 workers at several locations in Maine and out of state.