(Thanks to Samuel J. Matychak III for sending this to STATter911.com.)
The chief of the Cannelton Fire Department has been placed under arrest for shoving a police officer multiple times at a fire scene.
Authorities said the incident happened Tuesday evening at a fire in the 500 block of Knight Street in Cannelton.
51-year-old Fire Chief Christopher Herzog pushed officer Ryen Foertsch and began to shout profanities at him when Foertsch attempted to break the window of a room that he was unable to clear. Herzong began to continue to push Foertsch and continued yelling profanities after Foertsch attempted to explain himself.
Cannelton police officer Ryen Foertsch and Perry County deputy Stephen Poehlein arrived at the scene and entered the burning home to make sure nobody was inside.
After clearing two rooms of the home, smoke became too overwhelming and they evacuated from the home.
Once outside, police say Foertsch attempted to break the window of a room that he was unable to clear. Fire Chief Christopher Herzog approached Foertsch, pushed him hard enough to cause him to step back, and began shouting profanities at him, telling him to get off of his fire scene.
Both officers conveyed the situation to their superiors.
At the request of Cannelton Police Chief Lee Hall, troopers with the Indiana State Police were contacted to investigate the complaint.
After investigating, Troopers Jeremy Galloway and Nathaniel Kern arrived at the scene of the fire and placed Herzog into custody.
Herzog was preliminarily charged with Level 6 felony Battery Against a Public Safety Officer and was lodged in the Perry County Jail.
“I was in shock,” says Chris Zukeschwerdt, whose house was on fire.”When I saw the faces of those firefighters – to see their leader being pulled out of here while he was fighting a fire was just unreal.”
“They pulled the fire chief out,” Zukeschwerdt said, while the fire was still smoldering. Humphrey saw him arrested and put in handcuffs.
Neighbors there say police officers then told Cannelton firefighters to pack up. A firefighter can be heard on video telling his crew to pick up the hoses and leave.
“We’re in charge of this scene now,” Zukeschwerdt says he heard a police officer say, “and a lot of the fire department guys started saying let’s grab out gear and go.”
Zukeschwerdt says he heard the assistant fire chief tell his firefighters to stay put and “make sure this fire is out.”