Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Charges in February Structure Fire

Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Charges in February Structure Fire

Police say Ernest L. Stitely Jr., 27, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree burglary and failing to notify the fire department.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A Hagerstown man who unintentionally set fire to a vacant building on West Antietam Street in February pleaded guilty to multiple charges Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court. 

Police say Ernest L. Stitely Jr., 27, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree burglary and failing to notify the fire department. 

As we've reported, Stitely confessed to starting the fire in the apartment's bathtub to stay warm. The blaze caused a fire within the building's open construction, and the flames spread through the upper floors. Investigators say Stitely confessed to running from the building after he discovered the fire was out of control. 

Officials say the blaze significantly damaged the building

Stitely was sentenced to serve three years in prison, but suspended all but six months to be served in the county detention center. 
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