Greene County

Two men, one a volunteer firefighter, charged with arson

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - Two Greene County men each face three arson charges after being accused of a barn-burning crime spree early Wednesday morning.

We were able to find out through the Greene County Sheriff's Department that one of the young men charged in this case is actually a volunteer firefighter himself.

The Smithtown Road area of Greene County is scenic and tranquil, but that definitely wasn't the case during the early hours of Wednesday morning. A fire that Sheriff's Department detectives tell us was deliberately set leveled a barn along the road.

The barn-burning crime spree didn't end there. Barns were also burned on Fodderstack Mountain Loop Road and Campbell Road.

After their investigation, Sheriff Steve Burns tells us his detectives arrested 20-year-old Cameron Lee Waters, Jr. and 21-year-old Thurman Perry Jones. "[They were] just young men we think be making some foolish mistakes," Burns said.

Mistakes that appear even more foolish considering the first strange twist in this case. Waters told detectives during questioning that he was a volunteer firefighter.

That fact in this case makes the suspect's motive a head-scratcher. "I don't know [what the motive is,] but sometimes it's excitement, you know. They don't have a fire, [they might think] 'We'll just have one, maybe we'll be the first one to arrive on the scene and get the credit for that,'" he said.

And the second puzzling fact in this case: apparently Waters is also the son of the Newmansville Volunteer Fire Department Chief.

Despite the two ironic twists in this case, Sheriff Burns tells us he wants to emphasize two more bottom line facts -- "We have outstanding volunteer fire departments, and I don't think this should cast any bad reflection on any of those. They do a great job. You can't burn people's property no matter what," he said.

Both Waters and Jones are out on bond after posting $45,000 each. They are now awaiting trial.

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