Pine Island Men Get Probation for Million Dollar Fire
Red Wing, MN (KROC-AM News) - Two Pine Island men have been sentenced to probation for inadvertently starting a fire that caused over a million dollars in damage.
20-year-old Thomas Lejcher and 21-year-old Samuel McPhail were in their senior year at Pine Island High School when they set-off some illegal fireworks purchased in Wisconsin near a bonfire gathering in Zumbrota in May of 2014. It was later determined that the smoldering remains of those fireworks ignited a fire that destroyed three buildings at the Agri-Tech Industrial Services Company and caused an estimated $1.2 million dollars in damage.
Lejcher and McPhail entered Alford pleas Friday to gross misdemeanor charges of negligent fire. The plea means they don’t admit guilt, but acknowledge there is sufficient evidence to convict them. Both young men were sentenced to two years on probation and 80 hours of community work service.
Another hearing is scheduled in March to determine the amount of restitution in the case.