George Co. volunteer firefighter arrested for arson

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Patrice Clark – bio | email

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – A George County volunteer firefighter has been arrested and charged with five counts of arson. Investigators said 31-year-old Joshua Daniel Easter caused more than a half million dollars in damages during this crime spree.

For six months, Joshua Daniel Easter fought fires all across George County. Now, Sheriff Tony Keel said the rookie fireman is behind bars charged with arson.

"Anytime you can put someone that's causing this much damage and terror in the county in jail, certainly it is a relief to us and the firefighters as well."

Fires crews began putting out several suspicious fires in October. The fires continued until just last week.

"These fires started off as wood fires and progressively got worse and went into structure and house fires," Keel said. "The first couple were abandon and right at the end they progressively got worse. The last one that was set was a duplex and the other side was occupied."

Police arrested Easter Monday on an unrelated charge. While behind bars, investigators said they were able to link him to the crimes with plenty of evidence collected at the fire scenes.

"Anytime you can get state local, federal and state agencies working together, results turn out good. It says something for the law enforcement community."

No one was injured in these fires, but there was a lot of fire damage.

"The total lost was $575,000 on these fires," Keel said.

If found guilty, Easter will have pay for those damages.

"We want to let everyone know there is no one exempt from being held reasonable for doing this kind of crime."

Keel said federal officials are also considering pressing charges against Easter, since two of the fires were in subsidized housing areas. Joshua Easter could face more than 60 years in prison, if convicted on all five counts of arson.

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