LUMBERTON, N.C. – Most of the 10 Robeson County volunteer firefighters accused of intentionally setting fires made their first appearance in front of a judge Wednesday.
- Charges come after a year-long investigation by the sheriff's office and other organizations.
- The firefighters are accused of setting as many as 90 fires in the woods and abandoned homes.
- The State Bureau of Investigation is currently looking into the arrests.
About a half dozen of the accused volunteer firefighters saw a judge Wednesday.
Most of them bonded out of jail while two came in to court in handcuffs. Two others made appearances in front of a judge Tuesday.
The firefighters are accused of being involved in a two-year conspiracy of setting numerous fires in the woods and at abandoned homes.
The sheriff's department says they're all volunteers with the Fairmont Rural Fire Department and the Orrum Fire Department.
In all, police say there are about 90 arson-related charges and even more are expected.
District Attorney Johnson Britt talked about a possible reason why the volunteers may have done this.
"When you're young, you're gung-ho and you decide 'Well I want to go fight a fire' and you don't have one to fight, so you create it,” said Britt. “And they create another one and another one. That appears to be the situation in this case."
The State Bureau of Investigation is currently looking into the arson-related charges.
Anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff's office at (910) 671-3100.
The firefighters will be back in court on Aug. 1.