Former Firefighter Committed Arson to Fight Boredom, Earn Overtime, According to Court Documents

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A former firefighter was sentenced to prison for arson Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Court documents say Benjamin Cunha, 33, admitted to setting dozens of wildfires between 2006 and 2007. Cunha reportedly said he set the fires out of not only boredom, but to earn overtime pay and impress his peers.

Cunha, of Placerville, will spend five years in prison and was ordered to pay $246,862 restitution to Cal Fire.

Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant told FOX40 Cunha worked for Cal Fire previously, but was a volunteer firefighter with another agency when the fires were set.

Prosecutors say Cunha used a “time-delayed incendiary device” to start the fires.

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