18-year-old Joseph Brannen arrested for arson of East Hernando Branch Library

10:59 AM, Jul 22, 2013   |    comments
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Brooksville, Florida -- Hernando deputies say a wanna-be firefighter is responsible for starting a fire at the East Hernando Branch Library earlier this month.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office, working closely with the State Fire Marshal's Office, arrested 18-year-old Joseph Brannen over the weekend for the for allegedly starting the July 6 fire.

See also: Hernando Library closed due to fire

During an interview with authorities, Brannen admitted to setting the fire himself, saying he wanted to help extinguish it with professional firefighters.

Pictures on Brannen's Facebook paged reportedly show him in full firefighter gear. He also claims on his Facebook page that he's employed by Hillsborough Fire Rescue. Brannen told deputies intended it to mean he wanted to work there, not that he actually worked there.

Brannen was charged with one count of arson and was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center. 

Damage to the library is estimated to be more than $500,000.

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