Disturbing Trend - MUTT x 4
Most Upsetting Troubled Times!!!!!!!
Arson probe under way
Copyright 2002 The News and Observer
The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC)...06/14/2002
Jerry Allegood, Staff Writer
ELIZABETHTOWN -- Four Bladen County firefighters have been
charged with intentionally setting woods fires in a series of
unrelated incidents over the past two years, officials for the
state Division of Forest Resources said Thursday.
The arrests stemmed from a two-year investigation that is
continuing, said Ray Adcox, an investigator with the division. He
said the incidents, involving members of several small fire
departments in the county, were part of a disturbing national
trend of firefighters who set fires.
"It's a very sad thing," he said. "They (firefighters) are our
American heroes right now."
He said investigators were probing more cases involving
firefighters, but specifics about such cases were not available.
There was no indication that the Bladen County incidents were
related, he said.
Adcox said the firefighters who were later charged had helped
extinguish the fires they set. All the blazes were relatively
minor, he said, but presented the potential for more serious
In the most recent case, Sean Nelson Pullman, 23, of Hope
Mills was charged with two counts of willfully setting fire to
woodlands. Pullman, a member of the Tobermory Fire Department, is
scheduled to appear in Bladen County District Court on June 25.
A firefighter from the Kelly Fire Department, David Earl
Burney, 28, of Kelly, pleaded guilty to willfully setting fire on
International Paper Co. land in early March. Burney was sentenced
to a year of supervised probation and ordered to pay court costs
and restitution to the Kelly Fire Department and the N.C.
Division of Forest Resources. He was also barred from serving
with a fire department for two years.
James Kristopher Jackson, 17, of Harrells in Sampson County, a
member of the Baytree Fire Department, was found guilty last
November of willfully setting fire to woodlands, the division
said in a news release. He was ordered to pay court costs, have
no contact with a prosecuting witness and not violate any state
laws for two years.
A member of the Tar Heel Fire Department, James Harold Cordle,
23, of White Oak, was charged in June 2000 with willfully setting
fire to woodlands. State officials said he pleaded guilty in
district court, paid court costs and was placed on 18 months of
probation. He was suspended from serving with any fire department
during his probation.
Division officials said the local departments had cooperated
in the investigations. And they said the cases involving
firefighters represented only a fraction of the volunteers who
serve scores of small departments.
David Jarman, fire chief for the forest division, said the
problem of firefighters setting fires appears to be increasing
across the Southeast. He said a study in South Carolina developed
a profile that indicated the crime was most often committed by
"the young, gung-ho type that drives the red truck with as many
lights on it as he can get.
"It seems to be excitement related," he said.
Jarman said fires set by firefighters are still relatively
rare. The division responded to 8,100 fires last year, he said,
most of them caused by people burning trash or woodlands.
Adcox said he had investigated many cases but couldn't explain
why some firefighters set a blaze.
"A soldier isn't much of a soldier without a battle to fight,"
he said. "That's the best analogy I can give you."
:mad: :mad: :mad: Wish there was some way to stop these guys from ever becoming firefighters but I know that's pretty much impossible. Ties in with the thread on background checks - although I don't think a background check would necessarily identify "firebug" behaviour as a child or young teen (if no charges were ever laid, no records existing, school pranks - that sort of thing)
Do any of the forum regs know if firefighter arsonists (sorry to say those words together :( - JUST DOESN'T LOOK RIGHT) that have been charged in recent years are more apt to be volunteer or career FF?