The man who helped start a fire in the historic National Hotel in 2010 received a three-year sentence Thursday to the Montana Department of Corrections.

Jeffrey Mizerski, 32, also must pay nearly $50,000 in restitution. Mizerski had earlier pleaded guilty to felony arson by accountability.

Judge Brad Newman sentenced Mizerski to 10 years with seven years suspended. The judge credited him for 98 days spent in jail.

Newman will recommend that Mizerski spend most of his sentence in a chemical dependency treatment program. The judge took the recommendation from the county attorney’s office that treatment would be better because Mizerski has a long history of drug and alcohol problems.

Mizerski’s attorney, Edmund Sheehy, said his client has acknowledged his addictions and is prepared to address them while in custody.

“He wants to get control (of his life),” Sheehy said.

Mizerski and another man, Billie Joe Brasher, 38, intentionally started a fire on Aug. 23, 2010, that heavily damaged the historic building, 703 St. Utah St. Court documents state that they were roommates in the hotel and they started a fire in their second-story apartment. Other tenants safely evacuated from the burning building, but some were treated at St. James Healthcare for smoke inhalation. The damage caused by the blaze later resulted in the building being razed.

In June, Newman sentenced Brasher to eight years in the Montana State Prison and ordered him to pay $79,000 in restitution.

— Reporter John Grant Emeigh may be reached via email at john.emeigh@lee.net or phone at 496-5511.

Follow him at Twitter.com/@johnemeigh.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.