Former Firefighters Admit to Arson

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DANVILLE -- Two former volunteer firefighters in Montour County now admit setting several properties on fire. They both entered a guilty plea to arson charges today in Montour County court.

They also told the judge they made false reports, and endangered the lives of others. They both now face decades in jail.

Charles Jacobs and Zane Snyder were silent as they left the Montour County Courthouse in Danville.

The two former volunteer firefighters pleaded guilty to setting four fires this year in Montour County--so they could return to fight them. The two were members of the Potts Grove Volunteer Fire Company near Milton.

In addition to the arsons in Montour County, Snyder and Jacobs are accused of setting more fires here in Northumberland County, including the property behind me in East Chilisquaque Township, where the barn is in the process of being rebuilt.

Chief Larry Brown of the Liberty Township Fire Company was one of several firefighters who sat inside the courtroom. He said the arsons affected his department.

"We could have had firefighters injured or the property owners injured. We did have a fire truck in an accident at the one call. It could have killed people," Brown said.

Charles Jacobs faces 66 years in jail. Zane Snyder faces 52. Brown said he would like to see both get the maximum sentence.

"I'd like to see the book thrown at them and most of us would. But I don't know what the judicial system will end up doing," Brown said.

Charles Jacobs and Zane Snyder are scheduled to be sentenced on September 6th in Montour County. A court date for the arson charges in Northumberland County has not yet been scheduled.