Volunteer firefighter charged in connection to fire on Johnson C - KCTV5

Volunteer firefighter charged in connection to fire on Johnson County, MO family farm

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Several fires on Steve Briscoe's property over a three-year span resulted in more than $120,000 worth of damage. (Submitted) Several fires on Steve Briscoe's property over a three-year span resulted in more than $120,000 worth of damage. (Submitted)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A man who volunteered to fight fires is instead accused of starting one - then waiting for someone else to report the flames. 

Zachery Cole Miller is charged with reckless burning or exploding for a fire that destroyed property on a Johnson County, Mo. family's farm.

KCTV5 first told you in July about a frustrated family who said someone was setting fires on their property over and over again, burning barns to the ground.

Several fires on Steve Briscoe's property over a three-year span resulted in more than $120,000 worth of damage. This summer he spoke to KCTV5 News, hoping a $2,000 reward would generate tips to catch the person responsible.

"It is a total disruption of your life to have to be dealing with these and also worrying about what could happen next," Briscoe said. "It's just hard to relax because you never know when the next crisis is going to happen."

Back in June, a fire destroyed a third hay barn on the family's property off Missouri 131 Highway in Holden, MO. Volunteers from the Johnson County Fire Protection District #2 battled the flames. 

According to court records, Miller confessed to starting that June 18 fire when he was shooting off fireworks. After he saw the fire ignite, he ran back to his home.

A deputy says instead of calling the fire department Miller, "waited until someone called the fire into dispatch. Miller then responded to the fire after his fire department was toned for the fire."

The fire destroyed the barn and everything inside, leading to a loss of a Bobcat and 110 bales of hay. 

Miller could face more charges for other fires set on the family's property that remain under investigation.

Just days after the reckless burning charge was filed, prosecutors charged Miller with two counts of child molestation in a separate and unrelated case.

For those charges his bond is set at $20,000.

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