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Posted: 11:22 a.m. Wednesday, April 4, 2012
GLEN ALPINE, N.C. —
A volunteer firefighter from Burke County is accused of causing thousands of dollars of damage after police said he set fire to a building.Investigators said Roy Benfield was the first firefighter at the scene and had to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation after the fire.Benfield is charged with arson after a fire at a storage building on Greer Road. SLIDESHOW: Scene of Burke Co. building firePolice said they were suspicious from the beginning when Benfield called 911 about the fire.Glen Alpine Police Chief Tony Moses said he believes Benfield set fire to the building for his own gratification."He got a high off fighting fires,” Moses said.The fire broke out in late February, destroying much of the inside of the building, which sits just feet from a home where a family was sleeping, police said.Investigators said a police officer arrived first at the scene after the 911 call, which raised questions about why Benfield would leave the fire to call for help with people in danger nearby.A grand jury indicted Benfield on first-degree arson and breaking and entering charges. “I remember coming outside and seeing those flames and remember thinking, “Oh my God. Who would do that?’” said witness Treasure Kelly.Moses told Channel 9 the case has been tough on him and his department.
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