Georgia Firefighter Charged With Setting Own House On Fire To Collect Insurance

A volunteer firefighter in Georgia has been charged with setting his own home on fire to collect on the insurance. Todd Anthony was arrested by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office on March 3, 2023, almost a year after the March 16, 2022 fire.

Anthony, 56, was a member of the Greene County Fire Department at the time of the fire. He told investigators that the fire resulted from a cooking accident. However, investigators concluded it started elsewhere. Quoting from a press release issued by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, Commissioner John F. King said:

  • Following a nearly year-long joint investigation with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, burn-pattern analysis of the incident proved Mr. Anthony’s story to be misleading.
  • Investigators determined the fire did not originate in the kitchen and instead was intentionally set in other parts of the home.
  • It is evident that the suspect set fire to the residence in an attempt to obtain an insurance payout of approximately $700,000.

Anthony is charged with first degree arson and insurance fraud. The Athens Banner Herald indicated that Anthony is a “former firefighter,” but does not indicate whether he resigned or was dismissed.

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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