2 Washington County Firefighters Arrested For Starting Grass Fires

Friday, April 20th 2018, 12:33 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Two members of the Washington County Fire Department and Washington County Emergency Management are arrested, accused of starting grass fires.

They are now charged with third-degree arson, accused of intentionally setting fires in February.

Just outside Bartlesville, grass is starting to grow back after the Sheriff's Office said two firefighters purposely set the land on fire.
The department is made up of volunteers, a team Hunter Martin and Patrick Bradley used to be a part of.

They're now both charged with third-degree arson after investigators say they worked together to start three fires.

"Just think if a house had caught fire - just think! And then they lose everything they have," said Denise Hamlan. 

About 150 acres burned. And while there are homes nearby, they weren't in immediate danger.

Both Bradley and Martin admitted to being involved in all three fires, set with a lighter and bundled up paper.

"We kind of went in circles there for a little while until they finally did come forward with the truth," said Lieutenant Jon Copeland.  

Copeland said a motive isn't clear, especially because they were volunteering their time to work for the department.

"There are some people that just the thrill of going to a scene, whether it be an accident or a fire, driving an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens, would be the only thing that I could think of as far as motive behind it," Copeland said. 

Both men volunteered for the department for less than a year.

Martin said before joining the Washington County Fire Department, he worked with the Oglesby Fire Department for two years. He also said he's lost his dream job.

Bradley is facing an assault with a dangerous weapon charge for another incident earlier this month.

The emergency management office and fire department said they could always use more volunteers, especially after losing these two suspects.

If you'd like to apply, just give the fire department a call.