A volunteer firefighter in Iberia Parish has been dismissed from the fire department, after allegedly setting a fire so he could respond and put the fire out.
18 year old Kentrelle Beasley, Jr. is charged with arson. He was a volunteer firefighter in Jeanerette.
Authorities say just after midnight on Saturday, July 4th, the fire department was called to put out a fire at a vacant house in the 100 block of Nolan Duchane. Jeanerette Fire Chief Sherri Landry says she got suspicious when Beasley came to the fire station to report the fire before the 911 call came in.
The fire started on the front porch. Investigators concluded it was intentionally set. Beasley confessed to setting the home on fire to help put the fire out.
Firefighter-involved arson is rare. One fire expert estimates there are roughly 100 firefighter arsons in North America each year. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office says there have been only a handful of firefighter arsons over the past few years.
In April 2020, 26 year old JT Simmons, a volunteer firefighter in West Carroll Parish, was charged with arson, after allegedly setting a fire to a vacant building in Epps. Investigators say he made the 911 call for the fire, but under a different name. He also confessed.
In 2019, 34 year old Matthew Crane and 23 year old Montana Ludlam, both volunteer firefighters, were charged with arson for allegedly setting fires in Webster and Claiborne parishes. Both men admitted to their involvement, and were dismissed from the fire department.
Beasley was working under his 90 day probationary period, learning how to become a firefighter. He is no longer with the Jeanerette Fire Department.