Firefighter denies arson charge
A Brandon firefighter denied in court that he set his car on fire to collect the insurance and avoid costly repairs, according to court documents.
Jeremiah M. Shaw, 31, pleaded innocent Monday in Rutland criminal court to felony charges of arson in the third degree and defrauding an insurer by means of arson, as well as a misdemeanor count of insurance fraud.
No bail was set for Shaw, who appeared in court on a citation. He was released on conditions, including that he not contact, harass or enter the home or workplace of the Brandon firefighters who were called to extinguish a fire in Shaw’s 2006 Ford Freestyle.
The fire department was called to Franklin Street on Aug. 12, where they quickly doused flames in the back seat of Shaw’s car, according to Brandon Police Officer Benjamin Herrick.
Firefighters at the scene told police they thought the blaze was suspicious and an investigation by Vermont State Police indicated that some “foreign substance” had been found in the area where the fire started.
Shaw initially denied setting the fire. But Herrick said that in an interview with police Shaw eventually admitted to causing the fire because the vehicle needed $1,300 in repairs.