A Deptford Township, New Jersey man was sentenced to five years Thursday in connection to an arson fire that destroyed a vacant township house back when he was a volunteer firefighter, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office announced.
Michael Petrilak pleaded guilty to official misconduct in connection with setting the January fire on Cattell Road, the prosecutor's office said.
According to investigators, Petrilak admitted he and another person, Lewis Brooks, got gasoline from a Deptford firehouse and set fire to the house. Investigators say Petrilak claimed setting the fire offered the opportunity to fight a fire.
The prosecutor's office says Brooks pleaded guilty March 11 to conspiracy to commit aggravated arson. Brooks is scheduled to be sentenced in May.
A fire in Ocean County that is threatening homes, forcing the evacuation of homes and the closure of a local school, continues to burn Thursday afternoon.
Wildfire danger continues into Thursday evening with low humidities and dry conditions. Winds continue to gust close to 30 mph.
A report of a deadly shooting Thursday morning just off Widener University's campus led to an alert urging school community members to "please remain indoors until further notice," but police have now given the all-clear.