Authorities: Firefighter set shed fire he helped extinguish

September 14, 2018

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A volunteer firefighter stands accused of setting a shed fire that he later helped extinguish.

Hamilton Township police say Matthew Hesser faces arson and felony criminal mischief charges stemming from the Aug. 16 fire in the southern New Jersey town. It wasn’t known Friday if the 35-year-old Vineland man has retained an attorney.

Authorities say Hesser is a volunteer with the Mizpah Volunteer Fire Company. They say he made the 911 call reporting the fire and later responded to the scene and helped put out the fire.

But Mizpah Fire Chief Jay Davenport told NJ.com that Hesser was not a member of the department. He said Hesser had applied to join, but his fingerprints and background check were still pending but his application was never approved.

Davenport said Hesser would not be allowed to join the department.

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