PARIS — A former volunteer firefighter for the Greenwood Fire Department has been indicted on two charges of arson in connection with a blaze that destroyed two buildings last month.

An Oxford County grand jury brought the charges against Jeffrey A. Tyler, 28, of Paris Road in Bethel. Tyler is accused of setting a blaze early on Nov. 17 that spread to engulf two vacant homes on Main Street. Tyler was suspected of being involved after he arrived at the fire station at the same time as a firefighter who lives 1/10th of a mile from the station, despite his home being 1.2 miles from the site.

According to an affidavit by Daniel L. Young of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Tyler initially said he drove to the station from his home, but later admitted to being at the house at 238 Main St. owned by Bruce Connor of Chelmsford, Mass.

Tyler told investigators that he was upset because his wife and 2-year-old daughter had gone to visit family in Florida and he had been informed two days before that they would not be returning to Maine. Tyler said he went for a walk near the house and ignited three dry leaves with his lighter and let them fall to the ground. He said the action was symbolic to represent him, his wife and his daughter and “the two that landed together or nearest his daughter’s leaf would be where his daughter should be.”

Tyler told Young that the three leaves ignited others on the ground, and a 6- to 8-foot section of leaves under a barn attached to the house was burning when he left. He said he drove home without reporting the fire, but later drove back along Route 26 and went to the station after hearing the fire call on his pager.

Radiant heat and wind-blown embers from the fire at 238 Main St. ignited and destroyed the neighboring house at 236 Main St., which was owned by C. Mellen Kimball of Greenwood. The fire was reported by a night watchman at the Saunders Brothers mill at about 3:15 a.m., and damage to the two houses, attached barns, and contents totaled approximately $500,000.

Tyler had been serving on the Greenwood Fire Department for about two months before the blaze. He said he did not set the fire so he could respond to it, and also denied being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the affidavit.

An arson conviction is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

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