Three Suffolk County volunteer firefighters are facing arson charges in connection to nearly a half-dozen recent fires in New York, authorities say.
Authorities said Central Islip firefighters Austin Lehman, 19, Stephen Hernandez, 25, and Shawn Key, 27, also put out the blazes they started at five abandoned houses in Central Islip and Hauppauge between October and January.
"The individuals involved responded to the fires," said an official at a news conference announcing the charges. "They put their fellow members of the Islip Fire Department in grave jeopardy." "We have been and will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement officials throughout their investigation. This is a very serious matter and we are extremely shocked and disheartened to learn of these allegations," said a representative for Central Islip Fire Department in a statement.