Ramada Inn Resident Arrested for Fielder’s Choice Shed Fire
A resident of the nearby Ramada Inn is facing charges in connection with a fire at the Fielder's Choice Ice Cream property.
The fire was reported just before 3:00 Sunday afternoon at 339 Odlin Road, which is the location of the new Fielder's Choice Ice Cream. Witnesses at a garage across the street had called 911 to report flames coming from the building that sits near the front of the facility's parking lot. The storage shed, containing lawn care equipment and a bobcat tractor, was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived on the scene. No one was injured in the incident but the building was a total loss.
On Monday, police asked for the public's help finding the person or persons responsible for setting the fire that they said had a 'human element' to it. Detectives from the Bangor Police Criminal Investigation Division and the Maine State Fire Marshal's Office worked together and made an arrest later that day.
56-year-old Michael Benfield, formerly of Tacoma, Washington is charged with arson and burglary in connection with the fire. Benfield is currently residing at the Ramada Inn, which has been converted into housing for the homeless, since the onset of the pandemic. Benfield was taken to the Penobscot County Jail.
Fielder's Choice Ice Cream just opened on April 1st. The building housing the ice cream shop was not damaged by the fire. In a post on the Fielder's Choice Facebook page, owners say they're still open for business, and thanked Bangor's first responders for saving their shop.
Other business owners in the Odlin Road area have expressed concern about an increase in crime, since the Ramada became a homeless shelter.