$500K Fire Set by... Aspiring Firefighter
Joseph Brannen, 18, admits to arson
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2013 9:02 AM CDT
An aspiring firefighter admitted setting a $500,000 fire.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Firefighters who turned up to battle flames at a Florida library found a guy in firefighting gear was already on the scene. They asked Joseph Brannen, 18, where he'd gotten his protective clothing; he said he bought it on eBay, officials say. He added that he'd heard the call on his scanner and responded. Firefighters—the real ones—already thought the fire had suspicious origins; now, they believed they'd found their arsonist.

Brannen later admitted that he'd set the blaze himself. His Facebook profile included an image of him in firefighting bunker gear, and claimed he worked for the fire department, which he told officials was his dream. Now, he's been charged with arson in the library fire, which did $500,000 worth of damage, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
Jul 25, 2013 7:48 PM CDT
He should have wait untile they arrived and come little bit later. Than he could say that he just stopped by to warm up little bit.
Jul 25, 2013 11:15 AM CDT
joseph brannen welcome to the nut of the month club!
Jul 24, 2013 7:08 PM CDT
A guy tried to instigate a crime so he could make himself seem like a hero by pretending to stop it? It's Florida, he probably got the idea from his buddy George Z...good thing it was just a library he set on fire instead of a black teenager, or else he'd definitely have gotten away with it.