Volunteer Firefighter Who Set Fire Will Pay $2 Million
IDAHO CITY, Idaho (KTVB) -- A former volunteer firefighter who was 18 when he set the blaze that burned 440 acres near Robie Creek has been ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution. The restitution order came less than a month after Nathaniel Bartholomew, now 21, was released from prison. Bartholomew was sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree arson. He was paroled April 30 after two years behind bars. Bartholomew was working as a volunteer firefighter with the Clear Creek Fire Department when he intentionally set the Karney Fire near his home off Robie Creek Road in 2012.
The fire spread to hundreds of acres, destroying one home and threatening almost one hundred more. Authorities say Bartholomew set the fire to get the attention of his father, who is also a firefighter. Although prosecutors acknowledged Bartholomew did not intend to destroy any homes, they say he should have known the flames would spread quickly.
The teen was arrested while fighting the Karney Fire after witnesses reported seeing him walking away from the area where the fire started. Judge Patrick Owen ordered Bartholomew to pay a total of $2,398,826.83 in restitution to 15 victims May 22. Amounts range from $316 to $1,936,424.53.