Iowa, LA (KPEL News) - A firefighter in Iowa, Louisiana, has been arrested on arson charges for allegedly setting a fire station ablaze, according to a release from the State Fire Marshal.

Anyone who's dealt with a fire at their home or place of business knows how devastating it can be. Even if the structure isn't completely destroyed, clean-up is arduous and the emotional trauma lingers for a long time. Having it intentionally set, and by a firefighter, is unconscionable.

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Chief Bryan Adams reports that 18-year-old Jamison Smith was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center on one count of simple arson.

At about 4 AM on Friday, March 15, firefighters received a call that smoke and flames were emanating from the Iowa Volunteer Fire Department's main station on Thompson Street. Thankfully, the fire station was unmanned at the time. However, a fire truck and miscellaneous equipment were inside.

Dozens of volunteer firefighters arrived to find the building fully engulfed in flames.

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office was called in to investigate. After assessing the scene and gathering evidence, deputies realized the fire had been intentionally set and identified Smith as the suspect. He had been a part-time firefighter for six months with the Iowa Fire Department and served as a volunteer firefighter for a year prior to his employment. After his arrest, Smith was relieved of his duty with the department.

Chief Adams says:

This is an unfortunate situation that should not reflect poorly on this department or their dedicated service to their community. Louisiana's Fire Service is made up of thousands of heroes, the majority of them volunteers, who sacrifice their time and safety to protect their communities. That is who families across this state can continue to be confident in and rely on when they call for help.

Chief Adams credits the Iowa Police and Fire Departments for their assistance in closing the case so quickly.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

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