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Ex-volunteer firefighter, Kellen Klee, set fire that destroyed Windsor home in 2008, police say

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jan 16 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 18 2013 04:59:27 AM CST

Volunteer firefighter charged with arson

READING, Pa. -

Volunteer firefighters in Berks County are reacting to the news that one of their own is an accused arsonist.

State police said the volunteer firefighter admitted to lighting a fire, calling it in and then helping to put it out back in 2008.

Firefighters said they remember the fire from July 2008 because the home was so far away from a water source that surrounding fire companies were needed to haul in water.

At 4:15 in the morning on July 22, 2008 a home on Schappell Road in Windsor Township was on fire.

"When we arrived, there there was a ranch style home was fully involved with fire," said Union Fire Company Chief Troy Hatt.

Hatt said at the time they didn't know what caused it.

"When our investigation ended the day of the fire our conclusion was that the fire did start in the garage, but it was left as undetermined for further investigation."

State police said in November 2012 Kellen Klee applied to work in Virginia as a firefighter. During that process they said he admitted to intentionally starting a fire four years ago in Berks County, while he was a volunteer firefighter with the Virginville Fire Company.

Pennsylvania State Police investigated. According to court documents in a written statement Klee wrote he splashed some type of fuel on the home and used a lighter to ignite it. He walked home, called 911 and came back to help put it out.

"That makes me very upset, very mad because that's people's lives they're putting at stake," said Hatt.

Hatt said when a volunteer firefighter is accused of arson, a black cloud hangs over all of them.

"We just want everybody to know that all the rest of us are not like one individual," said Hatt.

The Virginville Fire Chief said Klee resigned from his company. And he said his firefighters are shocked, angry and saddened by what state police say Klee did. He said Klee will never be a firefighter in Pennsylvania again.

The chief said Klee told him why he did it but the chief did not want to comment because of pending litigation.

Klee is out on bail. We tried to reach out to him. He did not return our calls. Klee is also a dispatcher for the Berks Communication Center.