UPDATE: Monday, April 29, 2013
Nineteen year-old Cody Knox was arrested on Firday. He is charged with 14 counts of arson and accused of setting fires in October and November of last year.
Chief Kent Branscom, with the Reno County District 4 Volunteer Fire Department, says the departments saw a high number of calls last fall for fires that seemed unusual.
"We knew something wasn't right,” Chief Branscom said.
Chief Branscom says they were all small grass fires that couldn't have started on their own, but he says he never expected that one of his own would be arrested for starting those fires.
"It's pretty surprising I mean for what he did for us and stuff ,it's just one of those things you can't believe it happened,” Chief Branscom said.
19 year old Cody Knox is charged with 14 counts of arson. He's accused of setting fires in fields and ditches near Arlington. Reno County Sheriff's Office Captain Steve Lutz says even though there were no homes or people nearby, each fire that was set put every single fire fighter that responded in danger.
"I for one look at arson at an attempted murder just like most firemen do because firemen, what do they do? They respond to the fire and they put the fire out no matter what,” Captain Lutz said.
Captain Lutz says they don't know what Knox's motive was yet but he says one possibility is that Knox set the fires just so he could fight them.
"It's not unusual for a volunteer firefighter to be setting some of the fires. Especially when you're young and rambunctious and there's not many fires happening,” Captain Lutz said.
“You hear about it happening to other fire departments but you hope it doesn't happen to yours,” Chief Branscom said.
Detectives say they first focused their investigation on Cody Knox after he crashed his car near the scene of one of the fires. They believe he was rushing back to the fire station so he could respond to that fire.
Knox was released from the Reno county jail on bond and is set to make his first court appearance Friday.