Fire Department burned

COMPTON—A bad day for the Compton Fire Department was also a good day for fans of irony when a former department employee was arrested for arson, among other charges. Marcel Melanson of Torrance, who was once the Deputy Fire Chief, was taken into custody after allegedly stealing fire department property and then burning down the fire department to destroy the evidence.

Marcel Melanson

According to a LASD press release, Melanson stole Motorola radios worth thousands of dollars and sold them over the Internet. To avoid his capture, Melanson then set fire to the Compton Fire Department located on Acacia Avenue in order to destroy any evidence linking him to the crime.

Less than a month after the fire department fire, the Compton Fire Department joined launched a joint investigation with the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department, the Long Beach Fire Department, and the Montebello Fire Department. On May 15th, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office obtained enough evidence to formally charge Melanson, and he was arrested at his Torrance home without incident.

Melanson is accused of setting fire to the Compton FD on Acacia

Melanson gained some national recognition when he was featured in a 2009 documentary about the Compton Fire Department called “First In” on the Black Entertainment Network channel. The heavily tattooed Melanson is singled out as one of the youngest Battalion Chiefs in the country. He was also featured in “Inked” magazine for his extensive tattoos, which cover his back with the image of a firefighter entering a burning building, and cover his arms and neck as well.

The fifteen year veteran of the Compton Fire Department was ultimately charged with felony Arson and Grand Theft and is being held on $250,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for May 17th at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles.

Read More:

KABC: Ex-Compton deputy fire chief arrrested, accused of arson

LA Times: Former Compton deputy fire chief due in court in arson case

Fast Company: The 100 most Creative People

Fire Department burned was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: California

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