Laton Firefighters Suspected of Arson

July 22, 2008 8:08:10 PM PDT
Kings and Fresno County investigators have arrested two firefighters in relation to a series of arson fires.The suspects Christopher Furtado and Teddy Lee are both volunteer firefighters with the Laton Fire Department.

Investigators say they've connected the two men with a number of a fires intentionally set in the Laton area, where the two men are from. They are looking at their involvement in a series of 30 arson fires in Kings and Fresno Counties.

Christopher Furtado and Teddy Lee were booked on multiple arson charges. They were arrested last night in Kings County when they were being questioned on the fire at the Kings Country Club.

The Kings Country Club burned to the ground on July 7th. Investigators believe that fire was set on purpose. Laton Fire Fighters were called to put out that blaze but officials wouldn't confirm whether the two firefighters arrested actually set that fire.

Officials say some of the fires the suspects are involved in date back to march of 2007. They've been working on this investigation since early June but just recently began coordinating their efforts with Kings County Officials.

Rick Moore, Fresno County Fire Department: "We had independent investigations going on that began to lead towards each other if you will and with the essential assistance from the KCSO KCFD this all came together."

Asst. Chief Mike Virden, Kings County Fire Department: "It does not matter what your status is, and in with these investigators even if it's one of our own we will pursue that."

Christopher Furtado acted as Assistant Chief of the Laton Fire Department which has about 13 totally unpaid volunteers.

The two men have already been transported up to Fresno County where they expect to be arraigned.

Officials expect to arrest more people as this investigation continues to unfold.

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