HVFD Chief Dan Hopkins began the meeting by dismissing Kevin Johnson, Tyler Moore and Michael Campbell from the department following their arrest.
asked for a vote from department members to discharge the three.
"We are a volunteer department but I take it very seriously and I think you do to," Hopkins
members which included the 50 or more who met in the fire hall just off U.S. 431 at Hollis Crossroads.
Before introducing the speakers that included Cleburne County Commissioner Rex Nolen, Cleburne County Sheriff's Arson Investigator Michael Gore, Cleburne County Sheriff Joe Jacks, State Fire Marshall Ed Paulk Assistant State Fire Marshall Scott Pilgreen and Deputy State Fire Marshall Thomas Wiggonton; Hopkins explained, "We had some members charged with arson.
Chief Hopkins said pyromania is a disease and one of the firemen charged has asked for help.
added, "We've taken a hard hit.
It reflected back on this department and our good members.
We've got to purge the department of wrong doing.
It reflects on all of us.
We've come a long way here at Hollis."
noted how the department has grown over the years, noting their "Haunted Chicken House" raised $101,000 last year.
"This is still an on-going investigation and there may be other charges.
There are no statute of limitations," he
added while pointing out that with 250 calls per year the department does not need any more, particularly involving arson.
Cleburne County Sheriff's Arson Investigator Michael Gore credited Hopkins, Wiggonton, Sheriff Jacks and Paulk for their assistance in his investigation.
been more than cooperative and he
is probably one of the best fire chiefs in the county.
is a personal friend of mine and this has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
has been very instrumental in helping us solve several of these cases.
I'm glad you (Hopkins) stuck around and stayed on the (state) board.
Commissioner Nolen told the group that Hopkins has firefighting and his department "in his heart 100 percent.
Nolen added, "I'm here to support Dan
and all of you in this department."
You've got a good man," Paulk
said of Hopkins
Wiggonton added, "We have as much pride as Dan
At the request of Hopkins
explained to the volunteers the seriousness of charges that can be brought against arsonists in Alabama.
added, saying "This was nothing any of us did.
said "this may not be the end of things" and said there may be more arrests and charges to come.
"I want to actively assist and clean up our department," he
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I commend the work of Chief Dan Hopkins of the Hollis VFD.
is one of the most dedicated fire chief of Cleburne County
The fire department nor the county fire departments should be blamed for the tragic incident, the individuals acted solely on their own.
All we can do is pray for the Hollis Fire Department
and the members of the fire department.
I still and will always support the Hollis Fire Department and Chief Hopkins.