Fla. fire lieutenant arrested, accused of setting fire to own home
Authorities allege Brevard County Fire Lt. Donald Slayman III set his own house ablaze during Hurricane Dorian in 2019
Joe Mario Pedersen
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Authorities arrested a Brevard County firefighter Friday for setting his own home on fire in 2019 during Hurricane Dorian.
Lt. Donald Slayman III was arrested Friday by the Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations and faces charges of arson of a dwelling, according to a report by Florida Today.
Slayman, a firefighter with Brevard County Fire Rescue since 2005, was placed on administrative leave with pay following his arrest.
Just before midnight on Sept. 3, 2019, fire crews rushed to Slayman’s home on Pondapple Drive in Titusville where they received reports of a house fire, Florida Today reported.
**#STRUCTUREFIRE** 4200 blk PondApple Dr. North Titusville. Working fire in a large two story residence. Occupants out. No injuries. Investigators en route. BCFR and @TitusvilleFire on scene. #BCFR #BrevardsBravest #Dorian #Weather pic.twitter.com/qEAGrsAmCy— BCFRpio (@BCFRpio) September 4, 2019
Reports show the 911 calls came from neighbors and Slayman.
An investigation shows the fire began in the garage and spread to the second story of the house. When fire crews arrived they saw neighbors using hoses to put out the fire while Slayman remained on the phone with his wife.
When asked about the fire, Slayman gave multiple stories as to what happened.
First, Slayman said he was upstairs and hadn’t realized the fire started. Later he told investigators he was present when the fires began. Then he told investigators the fire started after he attempted to add gasoline to a running generator in his garage causing a sudden flash fire. However, investigators noted Slayman didn’t suffer from any burns or injuries.
Investigators found Slayman had tried to unsuccessfully sell his home two years earlier with an insurance policy for $100,000 over its appraised value.
The latter information accompanied by the conflicting stories led investigators to conclude Slayman had started the fire on purpose to collect the insurance money.
©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)