Alleged ‘fake’ firefighter appears in court

Alleged ‘fake’ firefighter appears in court

File picture. Photograph - Robyn Molloy.

A 23-year-old Kelmscott man who allegedly impersonated a firefighter at a blaze in Hopeland earlier this month faced Armadale Magistrates Court today.

Michael Patrick O’Brien did not enter a plea to the seven charges and was granted an adjournment to seek legal advice.

It was alleged Mr O’Brien, in possession of firefighting equipment, used his personal vehicle fitted with emergency lights to breach a vehicle control point in Waroona on January 7.

He also allegedly directed traffic at a fire in Hopeland on January 8 while dressed in a firefighting uniform.

When challenged, he allegedly claimed to be a volunteer firefighter before leaving the scene in a non-emergency services vehicle, which had a dash-mounted emergency beacon.

Police later identified him as a probationary volunteer firefighter with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services who not have the authority to wear a firefighter uniform, attend fire grounds or act in any official capacity.

During the investigation detectives searched his home and seized a number of items, which were allegedly reported as stolen during burglaries at the volunteer based Parkerville Bush Fire Brigade in December last year.

The investigation into those burglaries is ongoing.

He was due to appear in Armadale Magistrates Court again on February 19.