Residents congratulated the goat on its unofficial Twitter page for surviving this year's Christmas, but the celebrations were short-lived as someone managed to set fire to the 43-foot-tall straw goat -- or Julbocken -- in the city center just after 3 a.m. Sunday.
An intoxicated man in his 20s was arrested in the area shortly after the fire was discovered.
"The suspect was carrying newspapers and lighters and was wearing a balaclava," Police spokesman Peter Hultqvist told the Expressen newspaper. "He was drunk and smelled of petrol."
The 2014 goat managed to survive the holiday season thanks in part to security measures including a 24-hour webcam and security was bolstered again this year as the goat was due to visit Gavle's Chinese sister city, Zhuhai, in January.