PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — It has been nearly six months since a former Presque Isle firefighter pleaded guilty to arson in connection with a fire that destroyed a local warehouse in 2009.
MacFarline pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2010, and attorneys have been waiting for psychological evaluations and reports from experts who are consulting on the case.
The arson charge was lodged in connection with a blaze that burned down Northeast Packaging Co.’s Presque Isle warehouse on Nov. 13, 2009.
MacFarline was arrested and charged two days later. He was indicted by the Aroostook County grand jury in January 2010.
The Easton resident 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.
The Rice Street fire, which started at about 10 p.m., 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 Seacoast Security officials and security cameras at a nearby business helped in the investigation.
MacFarline posted $5,000 cash bail the day after his arrest.
The District Attorney’s Office has refused to comment on whether they will offer MacFarline a plea deal. He could face up to 30 years in prison.