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Fireman started blaze for €19

Two Corsican volunteer firefighters started fires for call out bonuses to boost their wages say prosecutors.

TWO volunteer firefighters have admitted starting fires to boost their pay.

The men, aged 22 and 25 face 15 years in prison for setting fires to earn a €19 and €38 call out bonus.

They have admitted starting fires on July 8 and July 14 north of Ajaccio in Corsica. One fire needed a Canadair plane to help tackle the flames.

Prosecutors have claimed the men acted for financial gain.

The head of the fire service in Corsica, Bruno Maestracci said: "For these night call-outs they got €19 and €38 each - the call-out on Bastille Day counts as double."

One of the men was unemployed while the other had a temporary job with the local council.

Following a court appearance yesterday they have been remanded in custody pending sentencing.

Justice Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said yesterday that they should receive "significant sentences".

In the last ten days, ten suspected firestarters have been arrested in Corsica, while 6,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed by flames.

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