Authorities first became suspicious when they noticed a man waiting at the scene of the fire in bunker gear, which firefighters wear when they go out on calls. When questioned, 18-year-old Joseph Michael Brannen told deputies that he wanted to be a volunteer firefighter and had purchased the gear on eBay.
Investigators, who immediately figured out that the fire was probably arson, declined to let Brannen join in fighting the blaze — which caused more than $500,000 in damages to the library.
When questioned, Brannen first claimed that he went to the scene after he heard the call go out over the scanner. He later admitted that he had set the fire himself and provided "details as to how he entered the structure and how he set the fire."
Brannen also apparently posted photos of himself in bunker gear on Facebook, claiming he was employed by the local fire rescue station. He was arrested for arson and released on a $3,000 bail.