Firefighter denies arson charge
A firefighter denied in court Monday that he tried to burn down his house in March.
Ethan L. McArdle, 33, pleaded innocent in Rutland criminal court to a felony charge of arson in the first degree and a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment.
The former Carver Street resident, who now lists a Shoreham address, appeared in court on a citation and remains free on conditions that prohibit him from possessing any accelerants, explosive devices or materials capable of starting fires — except those required for his employment or the mowing of his mother’s lawn.
McArdle, in an initial interview with investigators, denied any knowledge of how the March 31 fire started inside his home, but later admitted to starting the fire after Vermont State Police canine Biscuit detected the presence of accelerants in the area where the fire started.
McArdle, who served as a volunteer firefighter in Shoreham, told police that he had no financial motive, but that he simply did not like the house. McArdle also confessed to an insurance adjuster and a fellow firefighter with the Shoreham Fire Department, according to affidavits, and also sent a text to his wife confessing to starting the fire. No one was injured in either fire.