A Genesee County man is charged with impersonating a firefighter after showing up at a house fire in Unadilla Township.
The Unadilla Township Police Department reports that it responded on Monday, February 13 at approximately 2:26 p.m. to assist the fire department with a structure fire on Van Syckle Ct. The Unadilla Township Fire Department was assisted by Hamburg Township, Putnam Township, and Howell Area Fire Departments in the firefighting efforts. Officials say the fire was extinguished with only minor damage to the residence, but the garage was a total loss. The fire appears to be accidental but the cause remains under investigation. The residents and their animals were uninjured.
During the suppression of the fire, police say a man arrived on scene in a personal vehicle equipped with emergency lights and siren which he was using. He had minimal firefighting gear, including a helmet, safety vest and a radio. The eighteen-year-old Grand Blanc resident identified himself as a Brighton firefighter, even though the Brighton Fire Department had not been dispatched to assist.
The Grand Blanc man was not allowed to participate in firefighting efforts by Fire Department command staff, after which he left. Fire Department staff then notified the police of the suspicious encounter. Unadilla Township police were able to quickly identify the suspect. Police made contact with the man who confessed to responding to that fire scene as well as doing the same in surrounding counties.
Police recovered the radio and clothing used, as well as other evidence. The suspect was arrested and lodged at the Livingston County Jail. He was charged with two felonies, Impersonating a Firefighter and Use of a Receiver or Scanner in the Commission of a Felony.
The Unadilla Township Police were assisted by Fenton Police, Unadilla Township Fire, Putnam Township Fire, Hamburg Township Fire and Brighton Fire Departments.