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Homeowner gives fighting fire chief & cops a reality check

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Previously: Caught on camera: Fire chief arrested for shoving cop who vented burning home 

Can’t we all just get along? The sentiments of the man whose burning home sparked a fight between the Cannelton, Indiana fire chief and a police officer. Chris Zuckschwerdt’s Facebook post (above) should be seen as an important reality check for those who responded to the fire Tuesday.

Cannelton Fire Chief Christopher Herzog was arrested, accused of shoving Cannelton Police Department Officer Ryen Foertsch. According to news reports, Foertsch was trying to vent the home by breaking a window. Officer Foertsch and Perry County Deputy Stephen Poehlein arrived first to the fire and had entered to do a search prior to the fire department’s arrival.

Indiana State Police were called in and arrested Chief Herzog. Homeowner Zuckschwerdt told a reporter police then tried to take over the scene from firefighters.


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.”

Well, it wasn’t.

The house caught fire again, and torched the rest of the house.

Zuckschwerdt’s message on Facebook was pretty clear:

I may have lost everything I own but Bonnie and u are alive. I just wish local law enforcement and the firefighter would realize the are brothers.. . thank you cannelton firefighter in trying to save my house…

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