A man who owned a large boat and used a fire extinguishing device was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of felony arson for using his boat to start a fire that destroyed two apartments.
In June, Kevin P. Schirmer, 49, and a friend used their boat to set fire to the homes of two people in the North Side town of Albany, authorities said.
They were arrested after the blaze spread to other apartments.
“I just bought a boat and I thought it was a good idea to buy a boat for myself,” Schirmers defense attorney, James P. Zimerman, told the court in Albany.
“We wanted to buy some stuff.
It was all new, so we didn’t know how the boat would work.
So, I bought the boat, and I had a friend and I went out and bought a bunch of new boats and I bought a couple of new fire extinguishers and I took it for a ride.
It turned out I was in for a real treat.”
Zimerman said Schirms wife, Sarah, was also charged with two counts for helping to start the fire.
He said he would seek the dismissal of the charges on the grounds of the couple’s age.
The trial was set to begin in September.
The judge set a sentencing date of Jan. 11.
Schirmer was arrested last month and was charged with arson in the June fire, according to Albany police.
He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges, which carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Schiremer was one of six people who responded to the Albany apartment fire, authorities have said.
The other two people who were injured in the fire are expected to survive, according the Albany fire department.