A former Sterling volunteer firefighter has been sentenced to four years in prison for setting fire last year to a Cascades house under construction, prosecutors said.
Thomas B. Van Antwerp, 19, was sentenced Friday in Loudoun County Circuit Court. Judge Thomas D. Horne said he will consider whether Van Antwerp should be allowed to serve his sentence in the Leesburg jail or a boot camp program, according to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Karin Cather.
Van Antwerp, who pleaded guilty in May to one count of arson, had joined the department only a short time before the incident. He was still on probation when he used gasoline to set fire July 17 to the second floor of the house, at 46303 Summerhill Pl.
Firefighters arrived shortly before 2 a.m. to find the house in flames, fire officials said. Prosecutors said some firefighters thought it was unusual that Van Antwerp responded to the call because probationary members aren't notified of late-night fires.
Prosecutors said the house was owned by a building company and had not been sold. Officials said the fire caused $30,000 to $50,000 in damage.
The Sterling Volunteer Fire Department has about 80 volunteers who handle an estimated 3,000 calls a year. Department officials said all volunteers undergo a criminal background check and review of their driving records and are monitored during their probation.