Edinburg man gets 4 months for destroying home in fire

Posted Aug. 13, 2010, at 9:18 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:33 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — An Edinburg man was sentenced Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to four months in the Penobscot County Jail in connection with a fire that destroyed his home in January 2009.

Ty Ewer, 33, pleaded guilty in June to aggravated criminal mischief, a Class C crime, in exchange for a recommended sentence of four months, according to Michael Roberts, Penobscot County’s deputy district attorney.

Ewer began serving his sentence Friday immediately after his court appearance, according to jail personnel.

Before his sentencing, Ewer paid $8,000 in restitution for the cost of fighting the fire, Roberts said.

Ewer’s two-story gambrel house at 691 Edinburg Road was destroyed on Jan. 28, 2009.

No one was injured in the fire.

He was indicted for arson in July 2009 by the Penobscot County grand jury and pleaded not guilty to that charge.

Ewer set the fire to collect insurance, according to Roberts. The report from the State Fire Marshal’s Office showed the fire was caused by newspapers doused with an accelerant placed in front of a portable heater, the prosecutor said.

The fire proved difficult to fight, according to a report previously published in the Bangor Daily News, because a foot of snow fell the day before the fire. The deep snow impeded firefighters’ progress, Howland Fire Chief Phil Dawson said the day after the fire.

About 30 firefighters fought the blaze, with crews from the Passadumkeag and Seboeis volunteer fire departments assisting Howland.

The initial 911 caller reported fire coming through the walls, but when firefighters arrived, the roof had started to collapse.

Ewer, who was not home when firefighters arrived, allegedly told firefighters that he split his time between his house and his girlfriend’s house.

The Class C aggravated mischief charge carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If convicted of arson, a Class A crime, Ewer would have faced up to 30 years in prison and fine of up to $50,000.

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