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Fire chief’s son goes to prison for arson

WILKES-BARRE - The son of a Pennsylvania fire chief has been sentenced to a maximum of 23 months in prison for arson.

Richard Thomas Hart, son of Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief Richard Hart, pleaded no contest to a single felony count of arson in March. The 19-year-old was charged with setting a fire at a vacant home then responding to the blaze as a volunteer firefighter.

Prosecutors pushed for a stiff sentence, saying the fire threatened the life of a resident next to the vacant home.

Hart’s plea deal requires him to pay around $12,600 in restitution and prohibits him from being a firefighter for the duration of his sentence. Defense Attorney John Pike says Hart feels the firefighter prohibition is the worst part of the sentence.