LUMBERTON — A county firefighter has been accused of setting six fires in a wooded area this morning, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
John Bradley Fogleman, 19, of 23rd Street in Lumberton, was charged with six counts of burning woodlands and placed in the Robeson County jail under $3,000 bond.
According to sheriff’s Lt. Brian Duckworth, an arson investigator, Fogleman set six fires in woods off of Lee Britt Road in the East Howellsville area about 6:30 a.m. A school bus driver saw smoke and reported the fires.
Crews extinguished the fires, which were within a few hundred yards of each other and, according to Duckworth, ranged in size from a “car tire … to a couple of automobiles put together.”
“He ultimately confessed … that he was trying to find debris to burn so he could start his fire back up, his bonfire where he camped last night,” Duckworth said. “He walked past a whole lot of stuff that would burn to go to these areas.”
According to a statement from Northwoods Fire Rescue Chief Eddie Cox, Fogleman is a probationary firefighter who has been with the department since October. Cox said he has been suspended pending the completion of an internal investigation.
“Northwoods Fire Rescue Department Inc. does not condone such behavior,” Cox said. “All members of the department are to live by the department’s Code of Ethics. Any violation of these Code of Ethics will be dealt with immediately.”
Fogleman is the third volunteer firefighter charged this year with setting fires.
” … You have a firefighter who set fires, especially young guys, just to get the trucks rolling,” Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said.