GREENWOOD, Ind.-A volunteer firefighter is accused of setting several fires in Johnson County Wednesday morning.
Jake Dougherty, 18, of Needham, is facing three counts of arson, one count of OWI, possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and one count of consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Dougherty is a volunteer firefighter with the Whiteland Fire Department. He has been suspended by the department, but the department is considering termination.
The Franklin Police Department says they pulled over a red Dodge Avenger that was driving erratically on U.S. 31 and discovered that Dougherty was the driver. They say he had dark-colored soot all over his skin and clothing while driving impaired in the Avenger. They believe Dougherty is responsible for setting multiple fires at homes under construction. Those include the following:
-Intersection of Campus Lane and Shirk Way Street, Greenwood, Ind. around 2:44 a.m.
-200 Block of Darrough Drive, Greenwood, Ind. around 4:24 a.m.
-Cul-de-sac of Wild Turkey Run, Whiteland, Ind. around 7:31 a.m.
Police say another fire happened at a home that was under construction in the 2000 block of Byerly Place in Greenwood. They believe that happened just before 8 a.m., but they don’t think Dougherty is responsible for that fire.
One neighbor, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said her back window was damaged from one of the fires.
“We had the hay and stuff down in the backyard. Had the wind been blowing in the right direction, it could have caught our structure on fire. What are the odds that you have four different sites? And why?,” she said to WISH-TV.
Dougherty has been a volunteer firefighter with the Whiteland Fire Department since February 1, 2020.