Convicted arsonist named as acting fire department chief

In St. Clair County, Illinois, assistant fire chief Jerame Simmons was named acting fire chief of the Prairie Du Pont Volunteer Fire Department. This news prompted 10 ten of the department's 13 firefighters to immediately resign. Why? Simmons was convicted of arson more than 20 years ago after setting fire to a vacant home and a nearby high school. Eighteen years old at the time, he was sentenced to probation and the Illinois governor later pardoned him. From Fox2Now:

"It's a pardon. Still, the town remembers the school being set on fire," said former fire captain Laura Rosencranz, wife of the former chief. "The town remembers the house set on fire where we had firefighters fall and be injured."

"I think it's appalling and disgusting," said former chief John Rosencranz. "We're not going to have the adequate protection here. It's not going to be as it should be here. I'm kind of blindsided but not. I knew it was coming, but I didn't expect it to be a couple of days before Christmas."

(via Fark)

image: Firefighter Montreal/