A FIRE BUG AT CRANBERRY ISLES?
Return of Mysterious Fires of Last September Arouses Inhabitants.

Cranberry Isles, Jan. 26 [1916]
Much uneasiness is felt by many residents of Cranberry Isles on account of what seems to be the beginning of a new outbreak of mysterious fires like that of September last.  Two weeks ago a fire in the house of Elisha Bunker was fortunately discovered before much damage was done and only mice and matches can be suggested as the cause, and few believe this to be the case.  A few days ago a fire in the house of John M. Bunker was discovered before the flames had gathered any headway and none seems to be able to advance any theory as to the origin.  The neighborhood is beginning to be fearful of another fire series and most people do not allow the slightest sound at night to go uninvestigated, lest fire should be the cause.

The fires which occurred here last September threw the inhabitants of the island into the wildest kind of excitement and a vigilance akin to martial law prevailed during a period of several weeks.  No arrests were made and so far as is known, the identity of the guilty person or persons remains undiscovered.

The buildings which were burned last September included the old Sand Beach House on the south shore of Islesford, owned by Dr. Walter Seelye of Worcester, Mass.; the fine summer home on Islesford, of Arthur Brooks of Cambridge, Mass., valued at $20,000; the house on Cranberry Island owned by J. H. Hamor and occupied by Arnold Weed and family and Capt. Gilbert Hadlock's ice house on Islesford.


The Cranberry Isles firebug mystery has been solved by the persistent and good work of the Maine insurance department and a detective agency, and the loss of approximately $20,000 has been made good.  Arthur Napier, a twenty-year-old youth from Philadelphia, a long-time summer visitor at Little Cranberry Isle, has confessed the crimes.  He has, since it is shown that he is a pyromaniac, been placed under proper restraint.  The young man, on all other subjects, is perfectly normal, and it is hoped that proper treatment will effect a cure of his disease.

[1916 is handwritten on this firebug clipping.]