Volunteer Firefighter Charged With Setting Fires in Station

An upstate New York firefighter has been charged in connection with a series of fires set in his own fire station. William L. Smith, 22, of the West Glen Falls Volunteer Fire Company was arrested by state police and investigators from the state fire marshals office last Friday.

Smith is believed to be responsible for a series of small fires set in various electrical outlets in the station, including one on July 31, 2012 that damaged a cable TV modem. He has not been charged in connection with a more serious fire on July 31, 2012 that damaged the station’s kitchen.

Apparently critical to the solving the case was a computerized security system that tracks members entering the building. The Poststar.com is reporting that authorities say Smith admitted to his involvement in the smaller fires, but not the most serious one.

Smith was a member of the department’s board of directors and was responsible for station maintenance.

More on the story.

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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