Maryland Station Target of Arson Investigation

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RIVERDALE PARK, Md. -- Prince George's County fire investigators executed search warrants at the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department (PGFD Station 807) as an arson investigation targeting a "handful" of county volunteer firefighters' advances.

As first reported on 9NEWS NOW Digital Correspondent Dave Statter's blog STATter911.com, investigators searched the firehouse and loading material into vehicles parked in the apparatus bays.

According to sources, the investigators are looking for evidence of a possible firefighter arson ring operating in the county. Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department received claims that volunteer firefighters in the county had been setting fires in vacant homes.

Officially, the only information Prince George's County Fire/EMS officials have released since the investigation was launched is a list of vacant houses where suspicious fires have occurred.

The department has released no statements indicating there are firefighters in the county suspected of arson. Chief Charles Ryan III of the Riverdale VFD did confirm on April 20 that his department is cooperating fully with investigators.

Sources confirmed that a handful of volunteers have been operationally suspended, including firefighters at the Riverdale station. One of the Riverdale volunteers suspended is also a career firefighter in neighboring Montgomery County. Investigators from the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service are part of the investigative team.

According to sources, some of the targeted firefighters are live-in members at Riverdale. The warrant allows the investigators to go through the firehouse looking for possible evidence connected to those individuals and the series of fires.

Because it involves a sealed warrant, PGFD Chief Spokesman Mark Brady says he is not at liberty to talk about the activity.

Republished with permission of WUSA-TV.

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