SC Firefighter Charged with Setting Woods Fire

Bamberg, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Forestry Commission has arrested a firefighter who they say set a forest fire in Bamberg County.

Joshua David Ryder, 23, is facing a charge of setting fire to a forestland.

Back on May 27, the chief of the Hunter's Chapel Fire Department went to the intersection of Charleston-Augusta Road and Hunters Chapel Road to respond to a woods fire in progress. A retired Department of Natural Resources officer who also went to the scene noticed fresh tire tracks and a footprint near where the fire started.

Officers say Ryder, who was a volunteer firefighter with the Little Swamp Fire Department, also responded to the fire. But the retired DNR officer noticed Ryder's footprint and tire tracks appeared to match the ones he'd found earlier.

When they questioned the man, officers say he admitted to setting the fire, and  later wrote a statement of confession. 

The total damage from the fire was $100.

Ryder was released from jail on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond, which means he didn't have to pay any money up front to be released. 

The fire was the latest in a string of about 30 suspicious fires in the area since January, according to forestry officials.

 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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