Darren Doyle, story and photos
Four men have been arrested for their connections and involvement with the Sunfish Mall fire on Halloween night, and/or other recent fires, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
Tyler Hamilton, 20, and Daniel Massey, 20, both of Brownsville, which are also volunteer firemen for the Kyrock Fire Department, have been arrested and charged with Arson-second degree and Burglary-third degree.
John Richard Woodcock, 20, of Leitchfield and Dylan Ramsey, 21, of Brownsville were also arrested and face the same charges.
Officials said the men were involved in or connected to setting nearby fires that occurred on October 30, 2016, and a house fire across from Willie Hogan Road on August 6, 2016.
The Sheriff's Office reported that Hamilton, Woodcock, and Ramsey were directly connected to the Sunfish Mall and other fires, and Massey was directly connected to a string of several other area fires.
Authorities also said that more arrests are pending, following the next Edmonson County Grand Jury, with at least one of those being a juvenile.
Officials said that all four men admitted to their involvement with the fires.
The Sheriff's Office says they believe that a "hero" motive was the reason for the fires. This is where firefighters start fires only so they can respond to them, seemingly becoming heroes to the public.
"There are certainly no heroes in this situation," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "This hurts all of our local firefighters and we have some of the very best right here in Edmonson County. We also have several local fire departments with out-dated gear, budget problems, and not enough members, yet you have have this going on. People also have property that's been destroyed and someone could've been seriously injured, or worse, killed."
The cases are still under investigation and officials said that the accused men will likely face a host of other charges.
If convicted, each man faces up to 25 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for the arson and burglary charges alone. Each of the men were transported and lodged in the Hart County Jail.
Sheriff Doyle said they immediately reached out to the state fire marshal's office after the Sunfish incident.
"We knew those guys were busy statewide, but we obviously had a time-sensitive situation here. We had some good leads on a couple of suspects and thanks to very thorough investigative work in our office, we were able to find the answers we were looking for. A couple of our guys and myself went without sleep for a night or two, but it's worth it to solve a case, especially arson. These types of cases are rarely solved."
11/7/2016 11:45:52 pm
Volunteer department's have a hard time as it is. For a firefighter to do something like this is a real shame. Believe me I know, I was a volunteer for 10 years. Things like this put people's lives at risk for no reason. It is just sad.
11/8/2016 07:09:09 pm
I am proud of our sheriff's dept. Thank You
11/10/2016 08:42:41 pm
This is so disappointing!!! these boys knew better!!!!
12/5/2016 11:24:25 am
I wonder how long they've been setting fires, my aunts house burned at honey creek, a while back, everyone thought it was some family members that set it, nothing was ever done about it, it was ruled electrical, even though the power had been off for two months
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