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Mayerthorpe shocked by arson charges against junior firefighter

The Mayerthorpe fire department is coming to terms with allegations that one of their own members may be responsible for a rash of recent fires. 19 year old Lawson Michael Schalm is charged with 18 counts of arson stemming from fires set between April 19th and 29th.

He is the son of former mayor Albert Schalm and is a junior firefighter. Fire chief Randy Schroeder says the high school student responded to the fire that destroyed the CN trestle bridge on April 29th, along with three of the others.

He has been a member since he was 15 and was looking at a future with the department after graduation. All members of the fire department are undergoing critical incident stress debriefing and have had one-on-one counselling made available to them.

Schalm will appear in court on Wednesday.

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