Louisiana firefighters accused of setting fires so they could put them out
WEBSTER PARISH - The Louisiana State Fire Marshal has arrested two volunteer firefighters for arson after they were discovered to have burned down an abandoned building on Highway 808 in Haynesville.
Matthew Crane, 34 from Springhill, and Montana Ludlam, 23 from Cullen, have both been charged with simple arson, simple burglary, and criminal conspiracy.
Deputies contacted the State Fire Marshal's Office for assistance in determining the cause of the June 18 fire. Authorities received information indicating that the building was intentionally set ablaze by firefighters in the hope that they could be the ones dispatched to extinguish it.
Crane and Ludlam, who had just joined the Shongaloo Fire Department in March, were identified as suspects. During their investigation, authorities learned of two other suspicious fires in the area, one of a discarded couch near the Dorcheat Bridge and the other a grass fire on Willow Road in Springfield.
Upon his arrest, Ludlam admitted to his involvement in all three fires. Crane has admitted to his involvement in one fire and having knowledge of the others.