PARADISE, Mich. (TCD) -- Officials arrested a firefighter while he was putting out a fire he allegedly set over the weekend.
On the evening of Saturday, Nov. 11, the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office said the Whitefish Township Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the business district of Paradise. Deputies also went to the scene and launched an investigation.
Deputies identified 35-year-old Joseph Halder as a suspect after gathering surveillance video and evidence. WWTV-TV reports that Halder is a volunteer firefighter with the Whitefish Township Fire Department.
Chippewa County Sheriff Mike Bitnar told WWTV that he reviewed surveillance video footage from a nearby gas station, which allegedly connected Halder to the blaze at the business, Ruth's Gift Shop. Deputies arrested Halder while he was battling the fire.
Halder was booked into the Chippewa County Correctional Facility on a charge of arson. He was arraigned on Monday, Nov. 13, and given a bond of $200,000.
According to WWTV, if convicted, Halder faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years, as well as a $20,000 fine.
Bitnar reportedly said, "Chippewa County has amazing first responders, EMS and firefighters. This does not represent the overall volunteer group we have in our county. Then again, if there is somebody posing in amongst those who are there to do good, you have to get those people out."
The sheriff's office said the recent structure fire was the third in the region in the past three months. Halder is reportedly a person of interest in the other arson incidents.