Ex-firefighter from Montco charged with arson

January 4, 2011 10:37:49 AM PST
A former firefighter from Montgomery County, already charged with arson, has now been linked to setting more fires, authorities said.

Douglas Gauger was previously charged on December 7th with setting a fire that damaged a barn on Possum Hollow Road in Limerick Township.

He is now charged with setting three other fires in Limerick between January 17th, 2010 and July 1st, 2010.

Gauger is accused of setting a fire at the Trinley River Park that destroyed a pavilion, a fire at the Western Montgomery County Vo/Tech school that destroyed two garages and a fire on Benner Road that damaged a home.

Each fire occurred within the Linfield Fire Company's first response and assist districts, the D.A.'s office said. At the time of the fires, Gauger was a volunteer firefighter for the Linfield Fire Company.

Investigators said, in each of the four fires, Gauger returned to the scene to fight the fire after setting it.

Shortly after the fire at the Western Montco Vo/Tech school, authorities said, Gauger showed a friend burns he received on his leg fighting the fire. However, no firefighter reported being injured as a result of the fire.

While detectives were investigating these fires, another Linfield firefighter - Charles Sluzenski - was arrested for starting unrelated fires in Pottstown and West Pottsgrove in April 2010.

Shortly after, Gauger left the Linfield Fire Company and moved to West Virginia, the D.A. said. He was eventually questioned by detectives and arrested.

Gauger was arraigned on Tuesday and bail was set at $250,000.