Fourth Pennsylvania Firefighter Arrested; More Arrests Expected

Reprinted with Permission

A fourth volunteer firefighter has been arrested in connection with a string of arsons in Schuylkill County. Two more arrests are expected.

On Monday, troopers picked up Justin Geiger, 19, of Orwigsburg. They charged him with conspiracy and other counts related to a December 7 arson on Kemmerling Road in Washington Township, just east of Pine Grove. State police said Geiger was a volunteer with the Deer Lake Fire Department in Schuylkill County. He is locked up on $25,000 bail.

Geiger is the fourth person charged in connection with a string of nine arsons, including the one on Kemmerling Road, set over the past few months. Last week, police arrested Shawn Hoy, Jonathan Eichert and Matthew Dixon in connection with the fires. All three were volunteers with the Friedensburg Fire Company.

Troopers said Geiger worked with Hoy and Eichert to set the fire on Kemmerling Road near Pine Grove.

Troopers added they expect to arraign two more suspects Tuesday afternoon in the string of arsons in Schuylkill County.

Copyright © 2010, WNEP-TV

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Maybe its something in the drinking water down there? Maybe those two locations share the same drinking water?
Do you really believe that their only problem is that they are young and lacked arson awareness classes? Really? These 'kids' may be responsible for 9 fires, and they are ALL volunteer firefighters. I believe one of the excuses was that they were 'bored.' Simply put, there are NO excuses for what they did. This is not a case of boys will be boys, these are young adults breaking the law.

Perhaps the 'problem' lies with the fire department; did they do a (thorough) background check? Did they check and develop references? It's starting to look like PA could be the poster boy state for psych evals for volunteer firefighters. Now that's something to be proud of.
There was some volunteer ff that also just got arrested down here in Alabama thats why volunteers have such a bad rep. Most of the time they just let anybody come on board. If this kind of thing keeps up mabey the gov will stop giving vol so much money and send it to the paid guys where it is really needed.
So William what you are saying is that all vol firefighters are arsonists. I think you need to look around your perfect world of paid firefighters and take a close look, and by no means am i saying paid firefighters are bad because i am not... I just think the problem is something other than being a vol. I am a vol firefighter have been for 23 years, I bust my butt to do the best i can everytime, ya i am not perfect but the volenters on our department strive to be the best we can be... So if it sounds like i took offence to your coment i did. And to all the other volunters out there thanks for doing such a great job... And if i took this the wrong way i appologize..
I'm not going to speak for William but I can say that, while clearly not all volunteers are arsonists, when it comes to firefighter arsonists they are with very few exceptions, volunteers. They are also white, young and male, almost exclusively. And it's not just limited to one or two states or only one part of the country. But it is something the fire service, mainly the volunteer side, has to start dealing with.
No im not saying that all vols are arsonists thats a retorical question. I work along side vols all the time but a lot these guys also work for a paid dept and have the discipline firefighters are suppose to have. This is an ongoing problem that we have been seeing the last couple of years I have heard of a total of 17 volunteers that have been tried and convicted of arson the one thing FireFighters are suppose to combat. Not once have i heard of a paid guy setting fires. Most of the cases were because of the recession where the guys dept got paid for the calls so they would go around and start the fires and then respond to them. We are all suffering because of the recession and shit like this only makes it worse for all FF paid and vol.
Ya they need more arson awarness classes LMFAO?
It's starting to look like PA could be the poster boy state for psych evals for volunteer firefighters. Now that's something to be proud of.

Hey Jack, don't forget, we also hold two other distinct titles year after year. Always champion or runner up in lowest minimum training standards and highest LODD's.
I think that he meant it as satire, at least I hope so. What is needed is public beatings for such anti social behavior.

As to background checks. . most thinly staffed VFD's son't have the resources or connections to do extensive searches. We do contact the Local Sheriff's office for a felony record or outstanding charges. It will weed out a small percentage because they refuse to sign a permission form.

What none of that can do is detect stupidity or a bent to unlawful activities. A policy of aggressive prosecution and punishment might set an example.

Let these be the first ones then. I have also heard of several more. It is so sad that one or two bad eggs get to make a whole cadre of great volunteers, cannon fodder for "paid" F/Fs.

I don't know if you are a "paid" f/f or not but f I were you, I would be a little more industrious in my research and never throw a blanket indictment on either side.

Four or six bad eggs in one department leads me to believe there must have been other issues. Absolutely no excuses for this heinous behavior whether a lawless volunteer or a disgruntled professional, the criminal acts should be treated without favoritism by the courts or the media. Or by us for that matter.
Gary, It appears that you may be directing this comment to me, "I don't know if you are a "paid" f/f or not but f I were you, I would be a little more industrious in my research and never throw a blanket indictment on either side.". If you are, then I suggest that you follow these links -
and this discussion -

So yes, I am somewhat industrious in my research and I do try not to throw around a blanket indictment. Funny thing is, when you start looking at the data that's out there, there is little doubt that the "typical" firefighter arsonist IS indeed, a young, white, male, volunteer firefighter. And yes, there have been a couple of cases where it was a paid FF, and there have been older firefighters, black ones and females but when you sift it all out, what's left is a lot of young, white, male, volunteer firefighters.

Interesting, in the first link you included, the firefighter in question was a paid on-call, that's somewhere between volunteer and full time paid. Curiously, further into the article it mentions this, "Three days after MacFarline’s arrest, a second Maine firefighter was accused of setting a fire. Jeffrey A. Tyler, of Bethel, a volunteer firefighter in the Oxford County town of Greenwood, was charged with two counts of arson for a fire that destroyed two vacant buildings in Locke Mills on Nov. 18." How's that for further data to bolster my argument.
The 2 links he posted one was a on call which is a volunteer that is paid by calls. The other was an Ex Firefighter. Is that all he could come up with was 1 vol and 1 Ex Paid guy that was fired before he started the fires. I followed your links and Holy**** I take my little number of 17 and replace it with a figure roughly over 600 volunteers that have been tried and convicted of arson since 1995. That blows my ******* mind what is going on here. Im going to tell you what really pisses me off and by no means any offense to the volunteers on here. On second thought im am to tired to write the book on it mabey later.

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