Two Claiborne County volunteer firefighters charged with arson

Two Claiborne County volunteer firefighters charged with arson

Posted:
Michael Loper (source: Claiborne County Sheriff's Office) Michael Loper (source: Claiborne County Sheriff's Office)
Brandon Evans (source: Claiborne County Sheriff's Office) Brandon Evans (source: Claiborne County Sheriff's Office)

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

TAZEWELL (WATE) - Two Claiborne County volunteer firefighters are accused of arson.

Investigators with the Claiborne County Sheriff's Office say Michael Loper is charged with one count of arson and Brandon Evans with two counts.

The two were firefighters at the Springdale Volunteer Fire Department. The first case was a small brush fire in Harrogate in May, according to Capt. David Honeycutt with the sheriff's office.

He says Evans started the blaze by setting fire to some kudzu and then responded to the fire with his department and others.

Honeycutt also said in a separate incident, Evans and Loper are believed to have planned a fire at an empty, foreclosed home in the Springdale community and then responded to it as well.

"There is an adrenaline rush when you are out on a call. I think they were getting the rush of setting the fire, and going to put it out. It's that simple," Capt. Honeycutt said.

He also believes there's a good chance the pair could be behind some other, similar unsolved cases in the county, but says these are the only ones they can prove.

Honeycutt says this case is not that uncommon and at least three other firefighters in Claiborne County alone have been charged with similar crimes in the last few years.

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