Firefighters Accused of Arson


POSTED: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 5:11pm

UPDATED: Friday, January 24, 2014 - 9:15am

Two up and coming volunteer firefighters working for Rio Hondo are facing arson charges.
"During the interview process one of the gentlemen, one of them said we were doing this for fun, we were bored," said Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator, Humberto Barrera.
Firefighters Alexander Benevides and Daniel Davis, from the Harlingen area, are accused of the felony crime.
Over the last two weeks there have been about half a dozen fires in the small town of Rio Hondo. Once investigators started looking into the cases, they started to see a pattern.
"They all had the same M.O. and the same M.O. was night time, abandon house going up in smoke, time and time again same people responding to the fires," said Barrera.
The call to the abandon home in the 24-thousand block on Brown Tract Drive came in at about 8pm Wednesday night.
Not only did the local first responders come out, like Benavides and Davis, but so did the Fire Marshal and Barrera to take a closer look and start asking some very serious questions.
"Unfortunately sometimes we have to police our own and in this case it's the Rio Hondo Volunteer Fire Dept. and two volunteer firefighters. And it's not a popular thing, we don't enjoy doing it, but we do have a job to do," explained Barrera.
While arson is never ever a good thing...he says it's even worse when a firefighter is behind igniting the flames.
'"It depletes not only our water resources, it depletes man power, it depletes wear and tear on the vehicles, fuel, comp time, over time and we are not talking a hundred or two hundred, we're talking thousands of dollars that are used every time the fire truck gets moved," said Barrera.
Right now investigators are trying to figure out how many of the fires over the last two weeks were accidents or arson at the hands of the two firefighters.
Additional arrests in this arson case are expected.

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