Indiana Firefighter Facing Arson Charges in Overnight Arson Spree

A volunteer firefighter from Indiana is facing arson-related charges in a series of fires that occurred overnight.

Jake Dougherty, 18, a volunteer with the Whiteland Fire Department, is accused of setting three homes that were under construction on fire in the early morning hours today. The three fires were among four that occurred in the Greenwood-Whiteland area overnight.

Dougherty was stopped by police this morning at about 6:30am after he was observed driving erratically. He smelled of gasoline and had dark colored soot on his skin and clothing. He was taken initially to the hospital, and thereafter brought to the police station in Franklin to be interviewed by police detectives. Thereafter he was charged with three counts of arson, operating while impaired, possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and consumption of alcohol by a minor.

He has been suspended from the Whiteland Fire Department.

Here is a link to more on the story including news video.

Here is a video footage of the aftermath of the fires.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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