Fire chief intentionally starts blaze destroying 42 acres


Fire Chief Ricky Plummer 
By: Mahesh Sarin

(Scroll down for video) A fire chief was arrested on a charge of arson after allegedly starting a blaze that destroyed 42 acres, police in Maine said.

Old Orchard Beach police arrested Fire Chief Ricky Plummer, 59, after being accused of starting a blaze that was fought by 100 firefighters until it was extinguished.

Plummer was charged with one count of arson. He was booked into the Cumberland County Jail, and his bail was set at $10,000.

Last month, a fire broke out that burned 42 acres in the Jones Creek Marsh. Residents were forced to evacuate their homes.

After the fire was extinguished, twelve investigators seized computers at the fire station and Plummer’s vehicle. Plummer's cellphone was also taken.

Plummer said during the fire that the blaze was so intense that it almost forced firefighters to retreat from the area. The flames were 20 to 30 feet high, he said.

City Manager Larry Mead said that Plummer has been relieved of his duties and placed on administrative leave.