BATH, Maine – Allan Thomas Vigil, a local man, is set to be sentenced after admitting to breaking into the Dike Newell School and setting a fire that caused significant damage to the building. The 31-year-old is expected to plead guilty to charges of arson and burglary in West Bath District Court and will 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, which occurred on the night of June 10, 2022, resulted in the school being rendered uninhabitable. Fortunately, the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire, but two firefighters were injured while battling the blaze. As a result, the school’s roughly 225 students in grades pre-K through 2 were relocated to temporary classrooms at the former Bath Regional Career and Technical Center on High Street, where they may remain for the next several years while school officials plan a rebuilding project.
Vigil, who has a history of similar offenses and was on probation at the time of the incident, has a troubled past marked by developmental issues, mental illness, and a tumultuous childhood. His lawyer has requested a 10-year prison sentence, citing these factors and their impact on Vigil’s development.
On 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, which he used to protect himself as he broke a window to gain entry. He later admitted to lighting papers found in a supply closet on fire. The incident resulted in one firefighter being hospitalized for smoke inhalation and another for a wrist injury.
The sentencing of Allan Thomas Vigil will bring closure to a case that has had a significant impact on the local community and the school’s students and staff. These events serve as a reminder of the importance of addressing mental health and providing support to those in need to prevent similar incidents in the future.