2011-09-29 / Law Enforcement

Leroy arraigned on seven counts of arson

A former assistant fire chief has been arraigned in 83rd District Court on arson charges.

Howard J. “Curly” Leroy, 71, Houghton Lake, demanded preliminary examination within 14 days on seven charges of willfully setting forest fires.

The Department of Natural Resources made the arrest Sept. 8 following an investigation by DNR forest fire officers. The Roscommon Township board accepted Leroy’s resignation Sept. 6.

The DNR said in its initial press release that Leroy was charged with setting multiple fires since approximately 2000 that DNR fire crews were able to successfully contain, destroying only 1.5 acres of state forestland. DNR forest fire officers began investigating when they noted a trend in certain areas of unexplained, suspicious fires.

Leroy’s bond was raised to $30,000 (personal recognizance). Each felony charge carries a possible fine of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison. The court could also assess the costs of fire suppression.

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