S. FALLSBURG, NY — The Fallsburg fire chief has been arrested in connection with the August 29 arson of a bungalow at a Jewish summer camp in Sullivan County.
James Smith, 33, was arrested Wednesday on felony charges of third-degree arson and burglary and second-degree criminal mischief. He was also charged with misdemeanor official misconduct and solicitation.
Authorities suspect that Smith wanted to set the fire so that the fire department could get some training.
He was arraigned and is in the Sullivan County Jail on $25,000 bail.
James Smith is the nephew of Edward Smith, 44, of Fallsburg, who was arrested Tuesday and charged with a hate crime for allegedly drawing racist and anti-Semitic slurs on a road in the Town of Fallsburg.
Edward Smith was also accused of the arson at the Skopps colony, located at the corner of Laural Avenue and Brickman Road.
James and Edward Smith each rented apartments in the caretaker’s bungalow at the colony, that is occupied seasonally by Orthodox Jewish residents.