KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A military panel this week sentenced a Ramstein-based airman to nine months in jail for his role in an arson last September inside a base dormitory.

Airman 1st Class Edward A. Hill also was fined $5,000 and reduced to the lowest pay grade by the seven-member panel of officers, Air Force prosecutor Capt. Adrian Brown said Friday.

Hill, a passenger service representative assigned to the 723rd Air Mobility Squadron, pleaded guilty to aggravated arson and conspiracy during a court-martial that ended Wednesday.

According to Brown, Hill told Judge Col. Gordon Hammock during the trial that he and another airman started the fire in the dormitory storage room around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 29. Hill said his friend devised a plan to start the fire in an attempt to create a situation in which he could make himself look like a hero and impress a female airman who lived in the three-story dorm.

Hill testified that they folded notebook paper into a cup and filled it with lighter fluid, Brown said. He went into the first-floor storage room, lit the fluid-soaked paper and threw it into the room.

The fire caught a blanket and spread to the walls. It became so intense, it melted the ceiling lights, Brown said. About 30 to 40 residents in the apartment evacuated and nobody was injured, but the fire caused nearly $18,000 in damage, she added. Air Force firefighters arrived on the scene and put out the fire before it spread to any of the rooms.

Hill will begin serving his jail sentence at the Army’s confinement facility in Mannheim.

A court-martial is pending against the other airman accused of taking part in the arson.

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