Ariz. firefighter charged with setting 4 structure fires, 4 wildfires
Deputies said the Ash Fork firefighter's motives ranged from boredom to thrill-chasing
By Daniella Segura
The Charlotte Observer
YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. — A firefighter was arrested after confessing to setting multiple fires across two Arizona counties, according to a sheriff’s office.
The 18-year-old Ash Fork firefighter is accused of starting eight fires in Yavapai County and Coconino County, four of which were structure fires and four that were wildfires, since mid-June, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said in a July 21 Facebook post.
Deputies said they had been searching for the arsonist behind fires “over the last few months” when they linked the firefighter to a small fire on Thursday, July 20, and then tied him to the recent fires.
The Ash Fork Volunteer Fire Department did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.
During initial interviews, deputies said they believed the Ash Fork man provided “deceptive and misleading information,” which furthered their suspicion that the man was their suspected arsonist.
Deputies said they again interviewed the man, who went on to say he was involved in seven of the eight fires.
The firefighter told deputies “his motives in setting these fires ranged from boredom, retaliation against a former employer, chasing a thrill, and setting fires to some abandoned homes for being ‘ugly,’” the sheriff’s office said.
He was arrested and booked into jail on multiple counts, including arson of a structure or property, aggravated criminal damage and false reporting to law enforcement, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is expected to file additional charges against the man, deputies said.
Ash Fork is about 145 miles northwest of Phoenix.