Sicily firefighters accused of purposely causing fires
On the island of Sicily, Italy, fifteen volunteer firefighters have been accused and arrested for causing fires for income. In order to get more hours to increase their pay, their commander, Davide De Vita, would skip his shifts in order to start fires and then return to his department and wait for the emergency calls. These men would use their personal cell phones to make false phone calls to their 115 emergency number or even have family and friends call in the fires.
According to The Guardian, “Investigators added in a statement that on one occasion, the commander ‘even spoke of wanting to set off a bomb’ at the station in order to ‘take the money available if the emergency vehicles needed to be repaired.’”
Italian police have also released information stating that most of the firemen have been under investigation for fraud, along with some being suspected for arson. Local police have mentioned that these mysterious occasional fires have dated back to 2013-2015. Commander Vita has been put under only house arrest due to the time that has elapsed since the fires were set.
Being in the Southern part of Italy, Sicily has recently been experiencing blazing temperatures, along with an extended drought and extreme winds. This has led to the spreading of new fires across the region, which has caused many to blame the firemen once again.