15 Bennington Rural Fire Department volunteers suspended after v - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

15 Bennington Rural Fire Department volunteers suspended after videotaped stunt

BENNINGTON, Vt. – At least 15 Rural Fire Department volunteers are suspended after a videotaped stunt hit the internet.

An investigation was prompted by complaints made to the Department of Environmental Conservation, all stemming from what some are calling the Mudder's Day "Grand Finale."

Caught on video, were several firefighters on standby as a mobile trailer goes up in flames, just moments later a car driving through it, debris flying as the firefighters rushed to put out the flames and check on the driver.

"I was surprised that the fire department would participate to the extent that they did," said Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd.

He tells the NEWS CENTER that 15 members of the Bennington Rural Fire Department have been suspended for allegedly starting the fire.

"Apparently, they participated in igniting an old travel trailer that had been gutted," said Hurd.

He said the event is held on private property and that the host had proper permits for the event -- but not to burn the trailer.

Gary Kessler with the DEC says burning something like a trailer can cause air pollution and is illegal. Kessler says fines are possible for those involved and that an investigation is underway.

"It doesn't mean they're necessarily out of the department, but certainly there were some errors in judgment made in my opinion," said Hurd.

Calls made to the fire chief and the Bennington Rural Fire Department Prudential Committee chairman have not been returned.


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