Man arrested after rig set on fire

Paul Peter Lavoie, 52, faces two criminal charges after an ambulance used for training was destroyed by flames

By Laura French

Update June 18, 2020: Police have made an arrest in the apparent arson fire that destroyed an ambulance used for training. 

Paul Peter Lavoie, 52, was arrested Wednesday and charged with breaking or entering a motor vehicle and burning personal property, according to the Catawba County Sheriff's Office. His bond was set at $15,000. 

Investigators are working to determine Lavoie's motives for allegedly setting the rig on fire. 


For Immediate Release ...

Posted by Catawba County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Original story:

HICKORY, N.C. — An ambulance used for training at a North Carolina college was burned and destroyed in an apparent arson, officials said. 

The rig was parked outside Catawba Valley Community College while class was in session on Tuesday and was discovered on fire when students went outside, according to the Hickory Daily Record

Students attempted to extinguish the flames until Hickory firefighters arrived. Catawba County Sheriff's Office Capt. Aaron Turk said the rig is a total loss and that the fire was determined to be intentionally set during an initial investigation.

Turk also said that camera footage captured a person of interest riding up to the rig on a bicycle on Tuesday night. 

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