Former Volunteer Firefighter Appears Before Judge

A former Pitt County volunteer firefighter briefly appeared before a judge this morning after his arrest for setting fires.

Abraham Rizek was charged Thursday with five counts of burning uninhabited buildings.

Rizek was a member of the Red Oak Fire Department at the time, and authorities say after setting the fires he then help put them out.

The 19-year-old was released on bond and has a June 13th court date.

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A former volunteer firefighter has been charged with setting a series of fires in one part of Pitt County.

Sheriff Neil Elks says they have arrested Abraham Rizek, a former volunteer for the Red Oak Volunteer Fire Department.

Elks says the 19-year-old is accused of setting five fires in the Red Oak Fire District and then helped put them out. He's been charged with five counts of burning an uninhabited building.

The sheriff says Rizek was questioned two weeks ago about the fires, his car impounded as well as being banned from the fire department.

The fire department says the suspect was with them for eight months.
"It's very shocking," said Lt. Brandon Smith with Red Oak. "You know, we pride ourselves in the fire service of protecting people as well as their property and when a fellow firefighter steps out of those boundaries that we set, you know it really crushes us and it really tarnishes our reputation with the community."

Bond for Rizek was set at $50,000.