A Presque Isle man has been charged with arson after a fire on the campus of Northern Maine Community College that happened over the weekend.

Aroostook County Jail

According to Steve McCausland from the Maine Department of Public Safety, investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office  responded to the college campus at around 3:30a.m. to an arson fire in Penobscot Hall.

The fire originated in a bedroom of an apartment and was quickly extinguished by the building's sprinkler system.

The fire damage was contained to one room but there was significant water damage to several adjoining apartments. Penobscot Hall was occupied by over a dozen students and guests at the time of the fire and all escaped without injury.


The team of Fire Marshal Investigators, assisted by local and college officials reviewed security camera footage, witness accounts and gathered additional information which led to an arrest.

Police charged 22-year-old Paul A. Wasson of Presque Isle with arson on Sunday evening. Wasson was arrested without incident at his home and transported to the Presque Isle Police Department where bail was set at $80,000 surety or $10,000 cash.

Wasson was then transported to the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton after failing to post bail. He is expected to see a judge and be arraigned Monday.

Officials say Wasson is not a student at the college but was visiting a friend on the campus late Friday night.