Former Pennsylvania Firefighter Enters Plea in Arsons

September 8, 2009

A former volunteer firefighter has pleaded no contest in connection with a series of arsons in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Twenty-six-year-old Benjamin Christensen entered the plea in Lackawanna County Court on Friday.

Prosecutors say the Carbondale resident faces up to 20 years in prison.

Christensen was arrested in April 2008.

He was charged in seven fires that caused more than $1 million in damages to homes and businesses over a 15-month period in 2007 and 2008. Prosecutors say he set the fires out of boredom and anger.

Christensen pleaded no contest to setting five of the fires; he also pleaded no contest to conspiracy in two others, in which authorities say he assisted another man.

Prosecutors say the other man, Robert Woolaver Jr., is serving a 4-to-12 year sentence for his role.

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