A Doyline Volunteer Firefighter has confessed to starting two fires over the course of his two-month stint on the force.
Brandon Dale Martin, 31, of North Park Drive in Doyline was arrested Saturday and charged with aggravated arson for a fire in North Park Apartments on March 22 and simple arson for a fire set at an abandoned South Morgan Street residence on April 22.
A joint investigation by Capt. Dustin Reynolds of the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division, Lt. Rusty Edwards with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal and Chief Robert Hayden of the Doyline Police Department was conducted on the structure fire of the unoccupied house on Friday.
It reportedly led to a suspect from eye witness statements. Martin was called in for questioning; and during the interview, he confessed to arson of both Doyline structures.
“Martin admitted he was responsible for the house that burned down Friday,” Reynolds said. “He said he intentionally set the fire so he could help put it out.”
The South Morgan Street residence reportedly continued to flare up throughout the next day and night, which required ongoing efforts and resources of the Doyline Volunteer Fire Department.
“At the apartment complex he set fire to the office and laundry area,” Reynolds said. “So while, thankfully, nobody was injured, this was in close proximity to the complex’s residential buildings and could have become much more serious.”
This fire, determined by Webster 9-1-1 to have occurred on March 22, resulted in serious structural damage to the facility.
Sheriff Gary Sexton warned residents against letting Martin’s acts affect their confidence in the Doyline Fire Department.
“This man’s character absolutely does not reflect that of the standards of the Doyline Fire Department,” Sexton said. “I want to encourage residents to not let this incident and this man affect the faith and appreciation they have for the brave men and women of their department there.”
Martin was arrested on the above charges and transported for booking to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.
“This case was solved very quickly due to the great relationships we have in place with agencies such as the State Fire Marshal’s Office and our parish police departments, including that of Doyline’s,” Sexton said.