Pa. Volunteer Firefighter Pleads Guilty to Barn Arsons

February 11, 2008

A former volunteer firefighter is waiting to be sentenced for setting fires that did more than $1 million worth of damage to seven barns in Montgomery County and one in Berks County.

Montgomery County Judge Bernard Moore is delaying sentencing for a background investigation of 24-year-old Francis Haas III.

Haas is a resident of the Lazy K Camp Ground in Washington Township, Berks County. He pleaded guilty as his trial on arson and other charges was about to begin on Wednesday.

The fires were over a period from late 2003 to 2006. Authorities say as a former volunteer with the Bally Fire Company, Haas helped fight at least one of the blazes.

No one was seriously hurt but Assistant District Attorney Steven Latzer says firefighters were in danger. And dozens of cattle and chickens died.

Information from: Reading Eagle,

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