Two Firefighters Are Charged With Intentionally Setting Forest Fire

Two Firefighters Are Charged WithIntentionally Setting Forest Fire

30 December 2005

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Two eastern Kentucky firefighters have been charged with intentionally setting a major forest fire in Bell County back in April.

Investigators say they then tried to stop their colleagues from getting that fire under control.

The State Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet has been investigating this fire for months.

Donald Caudill and his brother, Barnell Caudill, Jr., were both temporary employees with the Kentucky Division of Forestry.

They were emergency firefighters to be called upon when fires got out of control.

Investigators say they started a fire back on April 9th in the Elliott Branch area of Bell County.

They say they then tried to prevent other firefighters from fighting the fire. At one point they even fired shots.

Bell County Attorney Neil Ward say he thinks he knows why the men did it.

“They had motive because they get paid when they fight fires. They’re not paid when they don’t fight fires and they got paid for fighting fires before this incident. So yes, I think the motive was to get some work and they were in the vicinity. A lot of people placed them in the vicinity,” Ward said.

Kentucky State Police arrested Donald Caudill Wednesday, he has been released on bond.

Barnell Caudill, Jr. is believed to be in Ohio. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The two men will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on January 5th.


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