- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (AP) - A Maine fire chief charged with arson after he allegedly discarded a cigarette and ignited a blaze that scorched 42 acres has submitted his resignation.

Old Orchard Beach Town Manager Larry Mead confirmed Wednesday that Ricky Plummer submitted a letter to the town Sunday announcing his resignation “effective immediately.” Town councilors unanimously appointed Lt. William Farley to serve as interim chief.

Plummer was arrested and charged on May 7 in connection with April 15 blaze at the Jones Creek Marsh. Fire investigators say Plummer admitted that he started the fire by carelessly tossing a cigarette in dry marsh grass. Plummer denied setting the fire intentionally.

Plummer faces up to 30 years behind bars if he’s convicted. The 59-year-old had served as Old Orchard Beach’s fire chief since 2014.

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