Orville Ranger, the owner of the 45 Maine St. property that was destroyed in last April's fire, pleaded guilty in court two weeks ago to a civil violation of the Uniform Fire Code and Life Safety Code. He will pay a $500 fine for failure to provide more than one means of egress from the second floor of the building.
As part of a plea agreement, Ranger will not face criminal charges in violation of public fire safety.
In the past 14 years, Ranger is the first person in Brunswick to be charged with a criminal violation for failing to follow fire safety codes, according the Brunswick Police Department (BPD). Such infractions are punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000, according to BPD Lieutenant Mark Waltz.
Waltz told the Brunswick Times Record that BPD is satisfied with the verdict and that "the message has been sent that landlords need to keep their buildings up to code."
The fire that consumed the three-story apartment building caused no injuries, but left multiple residents without a home or their belongings.
Prior to the fire, Ranger and his wife had received multiple warnings that the building violated fire safety regulations, and an inspection in October 12, 2010 by the State Fire Marshal's Office found additional violations.
The cause of the fire was never determined and the case has been closed. The Brunswick Fire Department did, however, rule out arson.
The building has since been razed and the lot completely cleared.
-Compiled by Dylan Hammer.