A judge told a man convicted of murder and arson in connection with the 2008 blaze that killed Detroit firefighter Walter Harris that society has a duty to protect first responders, then sentenced him to spend 41½ to 62½ years in prison.

“If society does not uphold that duty, society is risking self-destruction,” Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Callahan said. “Not only do I agree that society has the duty to protect firefighters, police officers and EMS, I adopt that duty as my own.”