Onley fire chief reacts to firefighter arrested for arson

Additional arrests could be possible.

ONLEY, Va. (WAVY) — A firefighter with Onley Fire-Rescue has been arrested and charged following an investigation into several suspicious fires.

Fire Chief Chris Davis and Virginia State Police confirmed to 10 On Your Side Thursday that Brandon Haynes was arrested and charged with arson for the Feb. 2 fire of a Freightliner truck.

Davis said Haynes did confess to burning the truck, but he hasn’t been connected to any other fires. He said, the night of Feb. 2, Haynes called in the fire and responded to fight it.

Davis said the department responded to “an unusually high amount of fire-related incidents” during the winter of 2015/2016. He mentioned that he suspected the person(s) starting the fires was a member of the fire service, possibly his own.

“We made lots of responses to working fires,” said David. “And we were first to arrive, you start adding those things up, it just doesn’t line up with what would be normal.”

Virginia State Police was called in to investigate. The chief confirmed none of the fires were occupied structures; they involved abandoned homes, buildings, cars and hay.

Davis said Haynes was a lieutenant within the department and served in a leadership role.

“People trust us,” said Davis. “So you have to protect that sacred honor, and obviously Brandon Haynes, because of selfish desires, chose to cast dirt on that honor.”

Chief Davis said he believes there will be additional arrests, involving junior members of his department. In a statement posted on Facebook, Davis stated:

It goes without saying that we are hurt by the extremely selfish behaviors that have been exercised by these person or persons and in no way does it reflect the value system of the members of Onley Fire Rescue or the fire service as a whole.”

Haynes lived at the firehouse full-time and had been with the department for about a year and a half.

Haynes will be arraigned some time in May.

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