Man Charged With Causing Catastrophe for Starting Fire

Man Charged With Causing Catastrophe for Starting Fire

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John Daley ReportingThe man who told police that he started the Farmington fire, 33-year old Josef Bruhl, was booked into the Davis County jail today.

Bruhl appeared in the courtroom this afternoon. He was charged with "causing a catastrophe,” which is a second-degree felony. Bail was set for 100-thousand dollars.

Police Lt. Shane Whitaker said the man turned himself in to police shortly after starting the fire at about 4 p.m. Thursday. Whitaker said the man was angry about life and "did not have any place to go. He wanted to be booked into prison."

Bill McGuire, Deputy Davis County Attorney: "We don't have the police reports yet. They still haven't been given to us. So all we have is a kind of a informal summary of what went on and it did talk about how he was mad and society and how he wanted to be locked up and that's why he committee the crime."

The chief deputy prosecutor says the investigation is continuing. In the meantime some families living near the fire are upset.

Rae Isom, Neighbor: "It was a young man. He looked healthy enough. He could get a job. Instead he chose to do this so he could go to jail, have three square meals a day, pump iron, whatever they do there. I just think it's too easy. I think he should be woken up at 6:00 in the morning and come plant a tree. It does make me mad."

Scott Harbertson, Neighbor: "I think it's ridiculous, insane. Just to get a bed and he nearly put everybody else out of their beds. Ridiculous."

The prosecutor says because the fire has spilled over to federal lands, Bruhl could face federal charges as well. If convicted of the current charges Bruhl could face up to 15 years in prison.

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