Local News

Robeson firefighter accused of setting six woods fires

Posted May 1, 2012

— A 19-year-old firefighter is accused of setting six fires in Robeson County Tuesday morning, according to a sheriff's office arson investigator.

John Bradley Fogleman, a volunteer firefighter for the Northwoods Fire Department, faces six counts of setting fires to woodlands, said Lt. Brian Duckworth. His bond was set at $3,000.

The fires were set in piney woods along Lee Britt Road in East Howellsville, about 10 miles northeast of Lumberton, Tuesday morning. The blazes ranged in size from a few feet wide to two acres.

Duckworth said the fires were initially reported by a school bus drive who saw smoke. A firefighter living nearby responded to the scene, where he said he saw a pickup truck with a Northwoods Fire Department license plate.

By the time fire crews arrived, Fogleman was driving away from the scene in that pickup truck, Duckworth said. He had been camping in the area overnight.

"His explanation was he was looking for debris to get his fire back going that they had burned last night," Duckworth said. "Why he walked this far away from the campsite, I don't know."

Duckworth said Fogleman is the third teenage firefighter he has arrested this year for intentionally setting fires in Robeson County. The first told investigators he set the blaze so he could ride in a fire truck and respond to it.

The second case involved a firefighter who set a small fire at his great-grandmother's house because he wanted the glory of calling in the fire and then putting it out, Duckworth said.

Last week, five junior volunteer firefighters in Hoke County were arrested for allegedly setting four buildings on fire between Feb. 20 and March 24 and four brush fires between March 4 and April 14.

Investigators said the teens set the fires and then returned later to extinguish them because they were bored and wanted a thrill. 


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  • Sherlock May 2, 2012

    These counties need to do away with their kids being firefighters, they will have burned the counties out by next year or kill someone

  • Tarheel born May 2, 2012

    I agree "barb"! You can't carry a gun until you're 21. Why would we trust teenagers to be able to respond under pressure to protect life and property? Just thinking out loud.....

  • barbstillkickin May 2, 2012

    Why would any area let kids become volunteers for a firefighter anyway. This should only be allowed by 21 years and older. For gosh sakes we can not even control their terrible driving and cell phone problems and now you think they can put out fires. I sure hope if I am ever trapped in my home with a fire I have adults come to save me. A kid will like watching the fire more then trying to rescue a old woman.