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Arson suspect headed for trial; faces three additional charges

Published May 26. 2011 05:00PM

A former Carbon County firefighter alleged to have set multiple fires will have his case head to trial.

Todd Deem II, 19, of Lehighton, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.

As a result, Deem will appear before the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas on July 7. He has been returned to Carbon County Prison in lieu of $30,000, 10-percent bail.

Deem, who already faces multiple charges for starting six fires in East Penn and Franklin Township, will be charged with starting three other fires in Schuylkill County, according to State Police Fire Marshals.

Though no indication was given as to where or when the fires started in Schuylkill County, State Police Fire Marshals said those charges should be filed soon.

Deem already faces multiple charges of arson and related offenses, as well as counts of criminal mischief; possession of explosives or incendiary materials or devices; penalty for causing fires; risking a catastrophe; reckless burning or exploding; recklessly endangering another person.

In March, Deem was charged with setting two barns on fire in East Penn Township, as well as four other fires in East Penn and Franklin Township.

Deem faces charges for the incidents that occurred at a vacant school house located at 1828 West Lizard Creek Road in East Penn Township on April 19; a barn located at 2556 West Lizard Creek Road in East Penn Township on April 10; a vacant barn located on Germans Road in East Penn Township about two-tenths of a mile south of State Route 895 on March 21; on Bake Oven Road in East Penn Township on March 20; at West Valley Road in Franklin Township on Sept. 11, 2010; and at the rear of 565 Vine St. in Franklin Township on Sept. 6, 2010.

Deem said he had been experiencing a lot of stress, and that setting the fires and being with the fire company relieved his stress.

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