Sallisaw, OK, USA — A Muldrow man who had been a firefighter for just four days was accused earlier this month with allegedly being responsible for starting a grass fire using a Molotov cocktail.
Zachary Carl Anderson, 19, was charged Tuesday with possession of an incendiary device, according to court records. He was arrested by Muldrow Police on Sept. 9, according to court records.
According to the charges, Muldrow Police Officer Mike Porter reported that a police investigation was undertaken in regard to a fire that was reported next to Anderson’s home, which is located in the 200 block of 7th Street in Muldrow.
The investigation revealed that a Molotov cocktail incendiary device, which was a beer bottle filled with gasoline and a rag, was found next the suspect’s apartment. Anderson, who was a newly-hired firefighter with the Muldrow Fire Department, was subsequently questioned at the scene by Muldrow Fire Chief Joe Shamblin. The suspect allegedly gave conflicting stories about what he knew about the incident, police reported.
Shamblin summoned the police to their location and the suspect was read his Miranda warning. Initially the suspect reported that his younger brother may have had something to do with the incident, according to court records. But eventually Anderson allegedly admitted to making and igniting the device. According to the suspect, he simply wanted to see what it would do once it was lit, police reported.
It was later learned that Anderson was the one who made the call to the police dispatcher and reported the fire.
Shamblin indicated Thursday that the incident, which occurred earlier this month, stemmed from a fire call the department received. When firefighters got to the scene of the small grass fire, they learned that Anderson lived next door and began questioning him. The information the fire department received was turned over to the police department, Shamblin noted.
Shamblin said Anderson had been with the department for just four days when the fire occurred. He added that a background check was conducted on Anderson prior to his being hired and Anderson had no record or even a speeding ticket at the time.
According to court records, after Anderson’s Sept. 9 arrest in connection with the fire, a protective order was filed by a local woman against Anderson on Sept. 10.