Firefighters Face Arson Charges

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Two volunteer firefighters who have been charged with setting a fire earlier this year near Danville will likely face more charges after authorities said they have admitted setting other fires.

Zane Snyder and Charles Jacobs are members of the Potts Grove Volunteer Fire Company. The two were arrested Monday night. State police said they not only admitted to starting one fire, they said they are responsible for setting six fires and trying to start a seventh.

According to state police Snyder and Jacobs admit breaking into a vacant house near Danville in January and setting a pile of clothes on fire.

State police said after the two started the fire they called 911 then went back to the scene to help put out the fire.

State Police Fire Marshal Norm Fedder said the two made several false reports to county 911 centers and were labeled as suspicious because of their quick response times to all of the fires.

“The two firefighters in question were always on the list and they live quite a distance from the fire department,” Fedder said.

“Our hearts go out to the victims, many of whom are friends and relatives of fellow firemen,” said Potts Grove Volunteer Fire Captain Bradd Mertz.

He added he and other members of the department are devastated. “That trust that we worked so hard for our community and the service and dedication of the other members are here to have a safe and secure community. “

Snyder and Jacobs have been charged with setting one fire, but police said they admit to setting six and trying to start a seventh.  State police said they will be charged with the other fires later this week.

“These two men, at least Mr. Snyder in particular, gave us an explanation that he likes being a firefighter, he likes riding in the truck and likes putting fires out. Unfortunately he also liked starting them to put them out,” Fedder added.

Members of the Potts Grove Volunteer Fire Company said they will try to move forward from what they call a “sad situation.”

State police said both Snyder and Jacobs face decades in jail. The two are locked up in Montour County.

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