Ex-firefighter awaits sentencing for arson

Posted Jan. 18, 2011, at 8:36 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:31 a.m.
Timothy MacFarline in October 2009.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PRESQUE IS | PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PRESQUE IS
Timothy MacFarline in October 2009.
Timothy MacFarline, described as a &quotmodel firefighter" and shown here in October, was arrested for setting fire to Northeast Packaging Co.'s Rice Street warehouse Nov. 13 in Presque Isle. (Photo Courtesy of the Presque Isle Fire Department)
Timothy MacFarline, described as a "model firefighter" and shown here in October, was arrested for setting fire to Northeast Packaging Co.'s Rice Street warehouse Nov. 13 in Presque Isle. (Photo Courtesy of the Presque Isle Fire Department)

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — It likely will be a few more months before a former Presque Isle firefighter is sentenced for arson in connection with a blaze that burned down Northeast Packaging Co.’s Presque Isle warehouse in 2009, Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins said Tuesday.

Although Timothy J. MacFarline, 26, of Easton pleaded guilty to the charge in October, he has not yet been scheduled for sentencing.

Collins said that attorneys are waiting on psychological evaluations and reports from experts who are consulting on the case. He couldn’t say when a sentencing hearing would be scheduled.

MacFarline was arrested and charged Nov. 15, 2009, just two days after a fire gutted the warehouse. MacFarline was a member of the Presque Isle Fire Department’s 33-person call staff and worked at Northeast Packaging Co. He is no longer employed by either the department or the company.

MacFarline was arrested after a joint investigation by members of the Presque Isle Fire Department, Presque Isle Police Department, Maine State Police and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Rice Street fire, which started at about 10 p.m. on Nov. 13, destroyed the 150-by-300-foot metal structure and its contents of paper, plastic and barrels of ink and alcohol solvent, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Firefighters from six communities were on the scene for more than 13 hours.

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.

He was indicted by the Aroostook County grand jury last January.

The maximum sentence for arson is 30 years in prison.

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