18-Year-Old Ochelata Firefighter Accused Of Purposefully Setting 19 Fires

Friday, March 5th 2021, 9:17 pm


The chief of a small volunteer fire department said it was shocking and disappointing when one of his firefighters was arrested for arson.

The Ochelata fire chief said the fires put a lot of lives in danger, both people in the community and other firefighters.

18-year-old Dakoda Davis was arrested for arson after investigators say he started 19 fires and then turned right around and helped put them out.

It started in November, when Robert Hughes said fires were being set on his ranch in Osage County.

"We're in the grass business first and cattle business second," Hughes said.

Hughes lost a few hundred acres to those fires and then started working with investigators from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.

Ochelata Fire Chief Kelly Nissen, whose department was putting out those fires, told investigators one of his new firefighters was Davis, who had just turned 18.

"He was pretty gung-ho, he wanted to get busy and do stuff," said Nissen.

An affidavit said in just four months, about 20 fires were set on purpose.

The affidavit said Davis would usually be the first one to get to the station, and the only one to respond to every single fire, no matter the time of day. It said sometimes, Davis even got to the fire station before the fire call went out.

It said in one case, Davis reported a house fire but never told dispatch he was a firefighter. Then, he joined other firefighters to respond but never told them he was the one who called it in.

Investigators began using GPS to track Davis' movements and saw he was close to the fires being set.

Chief Nissen said it's a big disappointment.

"It's kind of sad. It's one of our own. If you do it, you're going to have to pay for it," Nissen said.

The affidavit said after Davis was confronted with the GPS, surveillance video, and an eyewitness, he admitted setting 19 fires.

"If he kept doing it, somebody was going to get hurt," Nissen said.

Hughes said it's a huge relief to know his livelihood is no longer at risk.

"It's hard to leave town, to sleep at night, when you know there's an arsonist," said Hughes.