RFS firefighter pleads not guilty to deliberately lighting five fires

A volunteer firefighter has plead not guilty to deliberately lighting five fires in the Macarthur region.

Spring Farm resident Daniel James Crawford appeared at Campbelltown Local Court on Monday, February 5.

Mr Crawford has been accused of intentionally causing and spreading fires at Gilead, Spring Farm and Smeaton Grange on January 15 and 16.

The Rural Fire Service member was immediately suspended after his arrest. He will be reinstated pending the outcome of court proceedings.

Mr Crawford’s legal representative entered a plea of not guilty to all five charges.

Mr Crawford was present at court and sat quietly and stared ahead during the short proceedings.

He was dressed smartly in a blue-collared shirt, black tie and black pants. His wife and child waited outside the courtroom.

Mr Crawford has been accused of deliberately lighting a fire just after midnight on January 15 at Glenlee Road, Gilead. Just minutes later, a second blaze was reported on the same road.

On the same night at 12.41am, firefighters were called to extinguish two grass fires at Springs Road, Spring Farm.

On the next night about 1.30am, firefighters were called to a fifth fire at Smeaton Grange. Camden Council owned the property at Turner Road.

Mr Crawford was charged three days later on January 19 at Narellan police station.

The firefighter, who is out on bail, held his newborn as he left court with his wife. He refused to speak to media.

The case was adjourned until March 19.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the service had zero tolerance for arson.

“Firefighters are trusted members of society and it’s extremely disappointing that from time to time, people seek to abuse the trust of the community,” Mr Fitzsimmons said. “The community does not tolerate arson, nor does NSW RFS. 

“No matter who you are or where you are from, we will work hard to ensure anyone who engages in this form of criminal activity is brought to the attention of police.”