Fall River Man Gets Prison Time for Setting Multiple Fires
BROCKTON – A serial arsonist from Fall River has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for setting fire to buildings and homes in Brockton, Hull, and Hanson while on probation for arson, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office.
Mark Sargent, 55, formerly of Middleboro, pleaded guilty on Oct. 11 to two counts of burning a dwelling and one count of burning personal property.
Sargent is currently already serving a 10-year prison sentence for a probation violation, the D.A.'s office noted.
Sargent was on probation on separate arson charges when he was arrested for setting fire to a single-story business at 175 East Ashland St. in Brockton on Oct. 4, 2017.
Investigators found that the early-morning fire at the Bay State Shredding commercial building was intentionally set.
Surveillance video of the scene showed Sargent splashing a liquid later identified as gasoline around the staircase and doorway of the building.
During the investigation, authorities learned that Sargent had also set three other fires in South Shore towns.
On the same day he set the East Ashland Street fire, Sargent had also set fire to a three-floor apartment building at 1210 Montello St. in Brockton.
Google Maps shows the building there in August 2017, but as of November 2019, it is simply a vacant lot.
Prior to that, on Sept. 24, 2017, Sargent set fire to a 72 East Washington St. garage in Hanson.
Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Plymouth County D.A.'s office investigated the case along with Brockton police and fire departments, the State Fire Marshal's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"The multiple arsons that were committed by this defendant were an outrageous course of conduct that endangered residents and firefighters, and destroyed property," Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said.
"I commend the hard work of investigators who came together across state agencies to identify Sargent as the arsonist, and first responders who risked themselves to extinguish these fires and keep the public safe."