Ohio Firefighter Indicted for Arson

Toledo, Ohio-- A Toledo firefighter was in hot water Monday night, charged with starting a fire himself.

Kevin Goolsby, a safety officer with the Toledo Fire Department, was indicted Tuesday on a charge of arson, a felony of the fourth degree. Police believe Goolbsy started a blaze Aug. 31 at a garage on Beaumont Dr. in north Toledo. The garage and Goolsby's pickup were damaged in the fire, according to a police report.

The police report states investigators believe someone poured a flammable liquid on a truck before starting a fire in the garage. A witness who said he knows the suspect, told police he saw Goolsby go in and out of the garage several times and then take off in a different pickup at a high rate of speed. Shortly after that, smoke started pouring out of the garage, the witness said.

Chief Mike Bell says he is very concerned about the case, especially since Goolsby is a safety officer who's supposed to keep other firefighters safe. "If you have an issue of an individual who is in the business of protecting people and may have done something that is inappropriate, there's always going to be a concern by the chief," Bell said.

Prosecutors believe Goolsby was storing the truck in his girlfriend's garage. They would not comment on a motive. "In situations like this, what we typically do is ... our own internal investigation of the situation and we find out exactly what information we need to bring forward," Bell said.

Goolsby's attorney says the firefigher denies the charge and that he was actually at the training tower on Airport Highway when the garage fire started.

A warrant will be issued for Goolsby's arrest, and he's on leave from the department. Goolsby could also face a departmental disciplinary hearing. If convicted, Goolsby could go to prison for up to 18 months.

Republished with permission of WTOL-TV.

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