ME Dept of Public Safety

The State Fire Marshal's office has charged a transient with arson for allegedly setting a trash can on fire outside an Ellsworth store.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says 46-year-old Patrick Nevells was arrested on Tuesday in connection with a fire outside Mike's Country Store. He's listed as a transient living in the Ellsworth area, but officials say he's formerly from Portland.

Investigators say a passing motorist saw Nevells set fire to the trash can in front of the store and then walk away Tuesday afternoon. The witness reported the fire to the store's owner, who ran out with a fire extinguisher and moved the trash can away from the building at 90 Water Street.

Nevells returned to the store about three hours later and was arrested after employees recognized him. He's being held at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth.