Fallsburg Fire Chief Arrested in Connection with Bungalow Arson

Record Online

Fallsburg police have charged Smith, of S. FALLSBURG, NY — Fallsburg with burning down this bungalow on Aug. 29 at the intersection of Laurel Avenue and Brickman Road. (Photo: MICHELE HASKELL/Times Herald Record)

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.

10 Comments

  • 4. observer wrote:

    trying to move the light away from the fact that this is most defnitely an anti semitic hate crime!

  • 5. kozyacres845 wrote:

    Its a known fact that a large percentage of “fire fighters” are really fire starters, arsonists. Its like pedophiles going into the priesthood or education. Easy access to a piece of the action.

  • 7. buzzer wrote:

    what a dumb idiot making a bakwards swatstika inmiddle of a road at first i thought it was like that beacuse i thought it was kids who did it but this is helarios

  • 8. shocked wrote:

    i never dreamed of a hate crime in in the catscils!!!!! we just cant get away from it! its absolutely crazy!

  • 9. Vos Noch wrote:

    Does he have any family? I hear the local morgue is looking for some training!

  • 10. stam an oholei torah-nik wrote:

    this is so called america where there is no hate what is going on

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