CARMICHAEL (CBS13) – Schools, churches, homes and a library – all set on fire intentionally, and investigators say the same teen is behind the trail of arsons.

They also say the teen admitted he set the fires to get attention. Morgan McGinn, 18, was arrested Monday and booked into the Sacramento County Jail on $450,000 bail.

The fires caused a reported $750,000 in damages. McGinn did admit to CBS13’s Ron Jones in a jailhouse interview that he set the fires, 15 to be exact, but he says it seems like a dream.

“I don’t even remember doing that,” he said from behind bars on Monday. “It’s more like a dream.”

McGinn tells CBS13 he was in a dream state when set more than a dozen fires in Carmichael in the last couple of months – 15 to be exact.

“I use a lighter because I smoke cigarettes,” he said. “I would always have a lighter on me.”

Arson investigators say McGinn left a relentless path of destruction in Carmichael, targeting schools, a library, apartment complex, abandoned buildings, and he’s even accused of setting fire to a home occupied by a family.

“I’m just so happy nobody got hurt because if somebody got killed or hurt I would be constantly thinking about the families I hurt,” he said. “I would feel horrible and devastated if I hurt anybody.”

CBS13 learned McGinn attends a special needs high school for what sources call seriously emotionally disturbed students. Many suffer from deep mental and emotional problems.

McGinn says he set the fires when he didn’t take his meds, but arson investigators say he gave them the real motivation.

“His answer was is he wanted to see himself on TV,” Sacramento Metro Fire’s Michelle Eidam said.

“Oh yeah, that was one thing too,” McGinn admitted.

He says he comes from a broken home and suffers from extreme anxiety and depression. He says it began as a child. He was always bullied because he was small and different.

McGinn is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.


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