Former firefighter pleads guilty to torching Mechanic Falls restaurant

Posted Dec. 30, 2011, at 10:44 a.m.

AUBURN, Maine — A former volunteer firefighter in Maine has pleaded guilty to setting a fire at a Mechanic Falls restaurant that caused an estimated $30,000 in damage.

Joshua Michaud pleaded guilty to arson Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court but sentencing was delayed until June so he can complete counseling.

Authorities say Michaud, a volunteer with the Minot department, was 18 when he started the fire in July 2010. Witnesses say they saw him at the scene fully dressed to fight a fire even before the alarm was sounded.

No one was hurt.

The Sun Journal reported that Michaud received support in court from Minot’s fire chief, a former high school teacher and neighbor who all described him as a conscientious young man.

His lawyer said Michaud’s actions were out of character.

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