Firemen accused of starting fires … only to put them out

Sicily is enthralling for many reasons, not only for its scenic beauty, food and weather. The island off the toe of Italy’s boot is thought to be the origin of some of the most famous and notorious Italian families in history.

Now it would appear that 15 auxiliary firefighters have been arrested with charges on suspicion that they have been starting wildfires and reporting non-existent blazes so they could earn approximately £9 an hour for putting them out.

Police in Ragusa province, on the island of Sicily, said the fire department became suspicious when it was discovered that the part-time brigade had responded to over 100 incidents compared with just 40 tackled by other volunteer teams over the same period.

The brigade commander, a refrigeration technician, has been held under house arrest because he was suspected off continuing to start fires after others had stopped.

Most of the remaining team members, whose mobile phone calls were recorded as part of the investigation, have since admitted phoning the 115-emergency number or getting friends or relatives to do it for them.

The brigade commander allegedly left the station in his van, lit fires or made false emergency reports, then came back and waited to be called out to deal with it. He showed “a sharp criminal ability and … no fear about the consequences of his behaviour”, police said.

Maybe someone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  For all your fire safety needs including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire blankets and fire risk assessments contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

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