Ten volunteer firefighters in North Carolina are suspects in an arson conspiracy that set "numerous" homes and forested areas ablaze over the past two years, Robeson County Sheriff Ken Sealey told WPDE.
The 10 firefighters arrested Tuesday are with the Fairmont and Orrum fire departments, reported WRAL. The cases include about 90 arson-related charges so far and more are expected, the station said.
Seven of the 10 are teenagers, including one man who is 17, according to WTVD. The oldest is a 42-year-old man, the station reported.
In addition to the firefighters, a Maxton police officer and an N.C. Department of Corrections officer have been charged, reported WPDE.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
The intentionally set fires involved abandoned homes and wooded areas served by Fairmont and Orrum fire departments, reported WNCN. The fires cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, Sealey told media outlets.
Multiple state and county agencies participated in the 18-month investigation, including the State Bureau of Investigation, N.C. Forestry Service and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, WNCN said.
"This investigation is not about any particular fire department. It's an investigation involving individuals," Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey told WTVD.