Fayette County authorities say a Powellton man reported false emergencies and set two vacant houses ablaze.
Emergency dispatchers reported several calls on false emergencies from Aug. 6 to Sept. 18. The caller, later identified as James Earl Hudnall, 19, used a cellphone to report structure fires, car wrecks and even mining accidents, all of which were found to be false when emergency responders arrived, according to a statement by the Fayette Sheriff's Department.
Two real structure fires occurred during the same period. Armstrong Creek and Montgomery firefighters responded to two fires at vacant houses in Powellton, both of which were intentionally set.
The investigation led detectives to Hudnall, who was arrested in his Powellton home Wednesday, the statement said.
He was charged with four misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting an emergency incident and first-degree arson, a felony.
"Making a false call to 911 is not a joke," Sheriff Steve Kessler said in the statement. "Each time that this individual made one of these prank calls he was endangering the public and wasting valuable public resources.
"All of our firefighters in Fayette County are volunteers. They freely give up their time to train and to respond to calls of fires, car accidents and other emergency incidents in the middle of the night.
"It is a slap in the face to needlessly endanger these brave men and women by making prank calls and reporting non-existent emergencies."
Hudnall remains in Southern Regional Jail on $25,000 bond.