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Former fire chief convicted of intentionally setting fires

Former Fire Chief Convicted Of Intentionally Setting Fires

When you think about firefighters, you usually think of crews putting out wildfires, not starting them.

But not in the case of Ryan Scharber. KBJR says the former fire chief pleaded guilty to setting a number of fires around the small community of Babbitt, Minnesota.

And now, after being sentenced to five years in prison, he's explaining what drove him to did it.

Scharber explains he started those fires because of stress brought on by his newborn son's crying. ABC quotes: "It was a legitimate way for me to get away for a couple hours ... "

Between 2010 and 2012 there were 39 suspicious fires in the Babbitt area. This was especially troubling since the town is surrounded by a national forest.

WDAZ explains the unprecedented number of fires around a national park drew the attention of federal investigators, who believed the person responsible might actually be a firefighter.

ABC adds: "While it ... seem[ed] unlikely, some estimates say that as many as 100 firefighters are arrested every year for arson."

The investigators' theory was confirmed when Scharber was discovered in the woods by a fishing resort with a half tank of gasoline.

KQDS says after being questioned by investigators, Scharber admitted to setting nine fires and attempting to set fire to the resort. He was charged with setting fire to federal land and attempted arson.

He was sentenced to five years in prison under the federal mandatory minimum. Scharber is set to begin serving his term June 2nd.

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amanda April 26 2014 at 1:58 AM

So now he will miss 5 years of his sons life because the baby was crying.Was it really worth it?

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1 reply
hobbs74 amanda April 26 2014 at 3:36 AM

The irony is that now he'll be kept up all night by howling and screaming fellow prisoners. I love it.

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ohiohikingstick April 26 2014 at 8:50 AM

Must be realtionship to Son of Sam, who killed because a DOG told him to.......

Flag Reply +3 rate up
kay April 26 2014 at 8:52 AM

ahhhh ...The baby made me do it excuse, might've been just a believable had he said the devil made me do it.

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lsheaffer April 26 2014 at 8:54 AM

Well, he won't have to listen to any babies crying in jail.

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tmccull52 April 26 2014 at 9:07 AM

I wonder how long it will be before some slick shyster attorney and some quack psychologist will get together and come up with some convoluted theory about how men and women react differently to the cries of a baby. Women feel compelled to nuture, while men feel compelled to perform uncontrollable acts of wanton destruction. I can hear it now.

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gerald01612 April 26 2014 at 9:20 AM

wait until bubba crawls into his bunk. then he can listen to himself cry like a baby.

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erdd08 April 26 2014 at 9:28 AM

good, finally somone gets the right punishment for the crime they committed

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smprfitom April 26 2014 at 9:35 AM

Setting fires, stabbing your classmates,shooting up kindergardens & campuses, rediculous law suits as an aftermath..........see a pattern? Time to cull the gene pool.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jeannevon1 April 26 2014 at 9:47 AM

OMG! He thinks the stress of having a newborn is tough.. wait until he's avoiding admirers in prison! Perhaps next time he will seek help for his mental illlness rather than doing so much damage.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Kristen April 26 2014 at 9:56 AM

guess he figured if there were fires out in the community...he would have to be called to fight them rather than be home listening to the baby...yikes!! just go to the bar...or take a walk...something!!! what a way to ruin a career...how do you become a fire chief with brain function like that??

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