Volunteer firefighter charged with starting destructive wildfire to get dad's attention

Volunteer firefighter charged with starting destructive wildfire to get dad's attention

Credit: Deren Martinez/KTVB

Volunteer firefighter charged with starting destructive wildfire to get dad's attention

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by KTVB.COM

NWCN.com

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 4:08 PM

BOISE COUNTY, Idaho -- An 18-year-old volunteer firefighter with the Robie Creek Fire Department is accused of starting a wildfire fire that charred 100 acres and destroyed one home near the Robie Creek area on Monday afternoon.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Nathaniel Bartholomew Monday night as he was actively fighting the Karney Fire.

Witnesses told deputies they saw Bartholomew in the area where the fire started.

During questioning, Boise County Chief Deputy Dale Rogers said Bartholomew confessed to the crime.

Rogers said it appears the motive for starting the fire was to get the attention of his father who is a firefighter.

Bartholomew is now in the Ada County Jail. He will be arraigned on the felony charge in Boise County this afternoon.

The Boise County Sheriff's Office reports the Karney Fire started around 4:30 p.m. Monday, and grew overnight.

On Tuesday, the fire continued to grow, burning close to two homes in the Robie Creek area, but firefighters managed to keep those homes safe. It is burning toward a ridge that is mostly covered with pine trees.

The flames could threaten up to 100 more homes near the Robie Creek and Wilderness Ranch communities northeast of Boise. Around 100 firefighters are fighting the fire on the ground, while three helicopters make water drops and two air tankers make retardant drops from the air.

Officials tell us the Karney Fire is only 15 percent contained at this point.

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