A 19-year-old East Helena man facing a dozen felony arson charges for blazes in the Helena area in May has been hot with another, related to fires in the McMaster Ranch area of the Spokane Hills May 14.
Frederick James Maw V has pleaded not guilty in Lewis and Clark County in connection with 12 fires allegedly set in the Priest Pass area May 10 and the York-Nelson area May 15. Maw was found at the York-Nelson scene in full firefighting gear and after initially claiming to be a contract firefighter confessed to starting the fires, according to prosecutors.
In an interview with a detective, he suggested he wanted to then fight the fires, seeking the camaraderie of firefighting and his desire for a financial payoff, according to prosecutors.
The new filings by Broadwater County Attorney Karla Mae Bosse say eight fires were set in the Spokane Hills area May 14.
The filings claim a fire set by Maw destroyed two power poles belonging to NorthWestern Energy, with a replacement value of $6,115.
Maw is free on $100,000 bail on the Lewis and Clark County charges. Maw, who served briefly last year with a local volunteer fire department, is scheduled for an initial appearance Aug. 17.
On the Lewis and Clark charges, trial is scheduled for Aug. 26.