Ind. fire chief arrested after trying to stop cop interfering on fire scene

Cannelton Fire Chief Christopher Herzog allegedly pushed an officer and yelled profanities as the officer wanted to break a window to check a room for victims

By FireRescue1 Staff

CANNELTON, Ind. — A fire chief was arrested Tuesday night after allegedly fighting with a police officer at a working structure fire. 

Police say Cannelton Fire Chief Christopher Herzog, 51, pushed an officer and yelled profanities as the officer was trying to check the home for victims, reported Tristate

The police department had arrived on the scene first and checked two rooms before being overcome by smoke, reported the Courier-Journal. Chief Herzog allegedly pushed the officer after he tried to break the window of a room they were not able to check.

State police said the chief told the officer to get off his fire scene during the confrontation, and pushed him a second time.

Chris Zukeschwerdt, whose house was on fire, told Tristate, “I was in shock. When I saw the faces of those firefighters — to see their leader being pulled out of here while he was fighting a fire was just unreal.”

“I've never seen anything like it in my life,” said Zukeschwerdt, who has spent 40 years as an EMT.

“‘We're in charge of this scene now,’” Zukeschwerdt said he heard a police officer say, “And a lot of the fire department guys started saying let's grab our gear and go.”

Zukeschwerdt said he heard the assistant fire chief tell his firefighters to stay put and “make sure this fire is out.”

Chief Herzog was arrested and charged with battery against a police officer. He was released after posting bond and told reporters he was consulting an attorney.

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