PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A former Presque Isle firefighter accused of igniting a blaze that burned down Northeast Packaging Co.’s Rice Street warehouse was indicted by the Aroostook County grand jury late last week on a charge of arson.
Timothy J. MacFarline, 24, of Easton, was arrested and charged Nov. 15, just two days after a fire gutted the warehouse. MacFarline was a member of the Presque Isle Fire Department’s 33-person call staff. He is no longer employed by the department. He also worked at Northeast Packaging Co., which owned the Rice Street warehouse. He also is no longer an employee at that facility.
MacFarline was arrested after a joint investigation by the Presque Isle Fire Department, Presque Isle Police Department, an evidence recovery technician from the Maine State Police and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The fire, which started around 10 p.m. on Nov. 13, destroyed the 150-foot-by-300-foot metal structure and its contents, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office. Firefighters from six communities were on the scene for more than 13 hours.
Northeast Packaging Co. warehoused paper, plastic, and barrels of ink and alcohol solvent.
Firefighters said that when they arrived, flames were visible throughout the rear of the building and were starting to chew through the roof. Crews were forced to fight the flames from outside.
Senior investigator Tim Lowell of the State Fire Marshal’s Office arrested MacFarline after a review of evidence from the scene and witnesses’ statements. He said security cameras at a nearby business and assistance from Seacoast Security officials helped in the investigation.
MacFarline posted $5,000 cash bail the day after his arrest.
The maximum sentence for arson is 30 years in prison.