Whitneyville fire death ruled homicide

As soon as the Machias Fire Department arrived at the scene, they were notified that Wayne Foss was missing, and his body was later found within the trailer. On Monday the state police announced Foss’ death is being investigated as a homicide. (Photo courtesy Maine State Police)

By Sarah Craighead 



The Machias Fire Department responded to a call for a possible structure fire at 1:55 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. “When we arrived, the back part of the trailer was fully involved,” said Machias Fire Chief Joey Dennison. The fire took place at 54 Middle Street in Whitneyville.

Upon arrival firefighters were alerted that the trailer’s owner, Wayne Foss, was missing. “We tactically fought the fire like there was somebody in there,” said Dennison, who called in the Fire Marshall’s office as soon as it became clear there was a person inside. The Maine State Police and their major crimes unit also joined the investigation.  In addition to Machias, fire departments from Marshfield, Machiasport, and Jonesboro provided mutual aid.

When the fire was extinguished, Foss’s death was confirmed. An autopsy was performed on Sunday, Oct. 29. 

State Police Lt. Troy Gardner led a question and answer session in Whitneyville on Monday, Oct. 30, where he confirmed that Foss’ death is being investigated as a homicide. He stated that the results of the autopsy are not yet available, but urged the public to remain cautious given the nature of the crime.

“At this point, we don’t have any specific information to suggest that anyone else is in danger but we do want to remind everyone to pay attention to what is happening around them,” said Gardner, who declined to comment on the cause of death given the ongoing investigation.

Police are interested to speak with anyone who had interactions with Foss on Friday, Oct. 27 or Saturday, Oct. 28. Anyone with information on the homicide or anyone who had contact with Mr. Foss is asked to contact State Police in Bangor at 973-3700.      

According to the state police, a 911 call to the Washington County Regional Communications Center made at 2 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 tipped first responders off to a structure fire at 54 Middle Street in Whitneyville. The trailer was the home of Wayne Foss, age 48.  (Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon)