|Updated: 10/18/2012 5:27 pm
||Published: 10/18/2012 4:53 pm
The town of Warner is reeling after two firefighters are arrested on arson complaints.
Tobey Hadley Jr. and Robert Hill were members of the Warner volunteer fire department. The two men are accused of setting grass fires over the summer. No one was injured during those fires, but now the town is working to heal.
The Community Center in Warner is bustling with activity as neighbor’s lunch and catch up on the latest happenings around town. One of them is the recent arrests of two of their own for setting fires on purpose.
“If they have people like that serving on the fire department, how reliable are they and can I depend on them should I need them?,” says Betty Chappell.
Chappell has lived in Warner for 20 years. She loves this community and doesn’t understand why anyone would want to set it on fire.
"I think well, what are they doing being in public service if they do things like that out of boredom,” she says.
Warner police chief, Terry Thompson arrested 19-year old, Tobey Hadley Jr. and 20-year-old, Robert Hall earlier this week. He says both of them confessed to setting the fires. He believes they may have done it out of boredom.
"In the 21 years that I've been the police chief in Warner, I've lived here all my life, this is the first time we've had something like this,” says Thompson.
Jean Lynch recalls a time when her family desperately needed the fire department.
"Some people burnt their trash on a windy day and it blew over into our pasture, and set our pasture and the neighbors pasture on fire,” she says.
Lynch says the fire department is very hard working, and this should not be a reflection on them as a whole.
"I think the people that have been here a long time know the people in the fire department, and know that a lot of them are Christian men and they're not going to lose faith in the fire department,” says Lynch.
Hadley and Hill were arrested on seven counts of first degree arson, embezzlement and unauthorized use of a credit card.
This is the second time a Muskogee County firefighter has been accused of arson. Earlier this year, Dustin Davis admitted to setting fires in Boynton.