Oklahoma Volunteer Firefighter Accused Of Starting Multiple Fires Including One At His Own Home

Thursday, July 23rd 2020, 8:32 am
By: Tess Maune


A volunteer Oklahoma firefighter is accused of intentionally starting fires in his district, including one at his own home.

Court records show the suspect was the assistant fire chief for the Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department near Valliant in McCurtain County.

23-year-old Kody Nance is charged with nine counts of arson and one count of endangering lives while carrying out an arson.

The probable cause affidavit shows an Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry officer launched an investigation after an unusually high number of unexplained fires happened in what is considered a very small fire district.

Investigators said between January of 2019 and May of 2020 the Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to 24 fires and said Nance was often the first firefighter on the scene and would write up most of the incident reports.          

The affidavit showed after investigators questioned Nance, he gave them an 11-page written statement where he confessed to starting multiple fires using gasoline, often times because he was bored.

Investigators said Nance admitted to setting fire to eight structures, including barns, vacant houses, mobile homes and the former Mound Grove School building. Court records said some of the structures were destroyed, others were heavily damaged. In one case more than 250 bales of hay were burned up, the affidavit said. Investigators reported Nance also confessed to starting five wildland fires.

The court records said Nance told investigators he even started a fire that consumed his own house because he was mad at his dad and grandmother. The probable cause affidavit said Nance ignited a pine knot, put it on a blanket, then threw it in a wood stove to make it look like an accident.

Court records show some of the department's junior firefighters told investigators Nance encouraged them to start fires to alleviate boredom. They also said Nance used some of them as getaway drivers.

In the affidavit, the investigator called Nance a serial arsonist and said Nance is likely responsible for starting more fires than he admitted to setting, including fires at homes where people lived.

The investigator said one victim lost a vacant house and a weekend home to fires that happened several years apart. The affidavit said Nance admitted to starting the fire at the vacant house in 2019 but denied setting fire to the occupied home in 2016. However, the investigator noted Nance is who reported the house fire in 2016.

The investigator said he believes Nance has been setting fires at least since he joined the Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department 5 years ago.