A volunteer Muskogee County firefighter has admitted that he started seven grass fires last weekend. Dustin Davis, 25, a firefighter for Boynton Fire Department, told the fire chief that he set the fires so he could spend more time with his colleagues. Davis said he missed the camaraderie he’d once felt in the military. Muskogee County sheriff’s deputy Darrin Berry said the fires didn’t cause any injuries or damage.
The Oklahoman reported that fires were set in three rural areas around Boynton within hours of each other Sunday night. After the seventh fire, a man called 911 using Davis’ phone but identifying himself by a different name.
The fire chief, who suspected arson, listened to the 911 tape and recognized Davis’ voice. He then confronted Davis about it and got the confession. Berry said they suspected the fires had been set by someone familiar with firefighting, because the fires didn’t do any damage.
Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said the fire chief, Steve Allen, is a hero. “We’ve had these cases in the past with firefighters, but they’re hard to catch,” Pearson told a NewsOn6.com reporter. “We finally caught one.”
Pearson added that all the fires were set near resources — next to a lake, but not near baled hay or structures. Allen encouraged Davis to use a pager to report fires to fellow firefighters; he’d call the fires in and then show up for firefighting duty. Pearson said Davis was the first one to show up at every fire. Officials expect that he will be charged with seven counts of arson.