Sanford man pleads guilty to setting apartment building on fire




  • In US
  • 2022-09-27 20:25:16Z
  • By Portsmouth Herald
Thomas McGinn, 49, pleaded guilty on Sept.
Thomas McGinn, 49, pleaded guilty on Sept.  

SANFORD, Maine - A local man has pleaded guilty to setting an apartment building on fire on Spruce Street last year.

According to U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee, Thomas McGinn, 49, of Sanford, pleaded guilty to arson in U.S. District Court in Portland on Tuesday.

According to court records, Sanford firefighters responded to a blaze at 38 Spruce Street at approximately 3:30 a.m. on May 5, 2021. Tenants were home inside the structure when the fire was set, Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss said at the time. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

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Despite extensive damage, the firefighters were able to save the building from collapse. An apartment occupied by McGinn at the time experienced the most significant damage.

Police arrested McGinn the next day.

"When interviewed by investigators, McGinn confessed to intentionally starting the fire using gasoline and lighter fluid as accelerants," McElwee stated in a news release.

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McGinn explained that he had intended to "burn the building down," according to the news release.

McGinn is facing between 5 and 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

The top floor of an apartment house on Spruce Street in Sanford, Maine, shows damage following a fire Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
The top floor of an apartment house on Spruce Street in Sanford, Maine, shows damage following a fire Wednesday, May 5, 2021.  

McGinn will be sentenced after the U.S. Probation Office completes a presentence investigation report. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Sanford Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Maine State Fire Marshal's Office worked together to investigate the case.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Sanford, Maine, man pleads guilty to setting apartment building on fire.

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