A man accused of setting a fire in his Keene apartment Friday appeared to be suffering from a serious mental-health issue, according to a police affidavit filed in court and statements at his arraignment Monday.
Colin M. Momeyer, 39, is being held at the Cheshire County jail on a charge of arson, a felony. A hearing has been scheduled for next week to review whether he could be released safely pending trial, with the proper supports.
The Friday evening fire at 11 Court St. led first responders to evacuate the building, which houses the Machina Arts and China Wok restaurants in addition to apartments. The damage was limited to one third-floor apartment, according to Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard, and there were no reports of injuries.
The fire was reported a little before 6:30 p.m. and quickly contained. The first-floor restaurants were able to reopen within about an hour, according to Howard.
A police officer encountered Momeyer by a stairwell while evacuating the building, according to an affidavit written by Keene police Detective Steven E. Lamears. Momeyer told the officer he started the fire, Lamears wrote. Momeyer has pleaded not guilty.
During the arraignment Monday, Momeyer’s attorney, Benjamin Schiffelbein, called the alleged incident an “aberration” related to a mental-health issue. He said there is no evidence Momeyer intended to hurt anyone else.