Local fire chief resigns over phony fire call

A Quad City fire chief has stepped down after police launched an investigation into a fake fire call he admitted making.

Blackhawk Fire Chief Gary Chapman resigned May 13th, one week after admitting he paged his volunteers for a phony brush fire, to get them to help him clean up a building the department used as a haunted house for fundraising.

It happened at 5:30 p.m.  on May 6th. An audio tape reveals that  before the brush fire call went out for all volunteer firefighters to report for duty, Chief Chapman alerted a Milan dispatcher that the call would not be for a real fire, but an attempt to get some manpower out to the site at 1220 W. 2nd Avenue.

The tape shows that shortly after the call went out, the frustrated dispatcher received two calls from an ambulance driver and a fireman, wondering about the fire and where they should go.

Police launched an investigation into the false fire alarm, under the disorderly conduct statute.

One week later, Chapman told police he was sorry and resigned from the department.

Filed in: News

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