Volunteer Fire Chief Charged with Arson

A volunteer fire chief in Kemper County, Shannon Salter, has been charged with the crime of arson.

Shannon Salter

33-year-old Shannon Salter has served as fire chief for the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department for the last nine months.

Investigators say he may now be linked to some fires that were started in southwest Kemper County and elsewhere.

Sheriff James Moore says the investigation is ongoing, so he declined to get into specifics of how many fires may be involved. However, he said the fires occurred within the past month and a half, and some were wildfires.

Moore said investigators have collected some important evidence.

"This case is just like any other. If it was a normal citizen, whoever it was, we would handle it the same way," Moore said.

According to the sheriff, the fires caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Salter's bond was set at $25,000. He has been released from jail. His case is expected to be presented to a grand jury in May 2011.

Longtime volunteer firefighter Gene Wiggins has now been named chief for the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department.

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