Former Midland County Volunteer Firefighter Arrested for Arson

Alan Self wasn't fighting fires, he was starting them

MIDLAND (Local 2/Fox 24) - A former Midland County Volunteer Firefighter is behind bars for arson after starting nine different fires, according to authorities.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter, says Alan Self a Greenwood Volunteer firefighter wasn't fighting fires, he was starting them out of boredom.

"His reasoning when he was asked why he said he was bored and set the fired so he could go fight fire," said Sheriff Gary Painter, Midland County.

According to Sheriff Gary Painter, Alan Alton Self admitted to starting fires, which caused damage to the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Station on two separate occasions.

Self also reportedly admitted to starting fires at a trailer home on East County Road 140, an abandoned home on East County Road 140 and the Valley View Baptist Church as well as three wooden pallet fires inside the City of Midland. 

The damage from these fires ranging from one room to total destruction.

"99 percent of the people that join a fire department actually and really want to help, they want to do something. There's always that one percent and those are the ones we look for," said Sheriff Painter.

Self's latest fire was sparked at the Valley View Baptist Church in Midland and left the first clue for investigators. Sheriff Painter says the tool used to break in was something only a firefighter would have.

"He got inside, gathered up some trash and started it on fire, left, closed the door. Got down the road and realized it wasn't burning and that it needed oxygen so he came back and broke out a window to get oxygen to the fire," said Sheriff Painter.

Pastor Robert Frazier at the church said the entire church sustained smoke damage and one room is severely burned but that wont stop them from having service on Sunday.

"We are going to have church Sunday in the chapel, and we have people out restoring the chapel, getting the smoke out. Its amazing how God protected the Chapel," said Frazier.

Sheriff Painter said Self had no connection to the church or the homes he set on fire.

Self is now facing more than 100 years in jail and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

(Story from

More Stories

Latest News