A Bath man who admitted to breaking into the Dike Newell School last year and lighting a massive fire that gutted most of the building is expected to be sentenced Wednesday morning.

Allan Thomas Vigil is led out of West Bath District Court following a hearing in his arson case related to a June 2022 fire that burned down most of Bath’s Dike Newell School. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

Allan Thomas Vigil, 31, is expected to plead guilty to arson and burglary in West Bath District Court and face sentencing. The arson charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, while the burglary charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The fire, set on the night of June 10, 2022, rendered the school uninhabitable. The building was unoccupied at the time; two firefighters were injured battling the blaze. The school’s roughly 225 students in grades pre-K through 2 were moved to temporary classrooms at the former Bath Regional Career and Technical Center on High Street, and they could remain there for the next several years as school officials plan a rebuilding project. At the time, Vigil was on probation after being convicted in 2014 of arson for setting several fires in Bath, including one at the Merrymeeting Center for Child Development.

Vigil’s lawyer, Jennifer Cohen, requested a 10-year prison sentence, saying Vigil has developmental issues, mental illness and suffered a chaotic childhood that included domestic disturbances, placement in foster care and severe bullying.

“Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he did not receive the support or assistance that he needed, and, due to severe social isolation, he did not … successfully transition into mature adulthood,” Cohen wrote in a sentencing memo. She requested a 10-year sentence on the arson charge, a five-year sentence on the burglary charge and an eight-year sentence on a probation violation charge he is also facing, all to run concurrently.

The night of the fire, Vigil was caught on a security camera arriving at the school on a motorized bike with an uninflated pool float shortly before 10 p.m., according to court documents. He told police he broke a window to gain entry; the pool float was found resting on the sill, presumably to protect from broken glass. Vigil told police he lit “lots of paper” that he found in a supply closet on fire. Firefighters said the knob on a propane kitchen stove in the school was found turned on, according to the documents.

One firefighter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and another firefighter was hospitalized for a wrist injury.

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