Volunteer firefighter with Bethany Fire Department charged with arson and animal abuse

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A volunteer firefighter with the Bethany Fire Department accused of intentionally setting a fire at a house rented and occupied by his mother and two brothers on December 15thhas been charged with second-degree felony arson.

Nineteen-year-old Dakota Sean Cox has also been charged with misdemeanor animal abuse. His bond was set at $25,000 cash only, no 10% allowed. A bond hearing is scheduled in Harrison County on December 23rd.

A probable cause statement from Investigator Adam Crouch with the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office says Cox decided to conduct a “project” near the front door in the house on West 280th Street of Bethany. The “project” was said to involve spilling liquid on the floor and placing hot embers on the liquid to see what would happen. Cox reportedly attempted to put out the fire that started with water, but he was unable to extinguish it.

Crouch says Cox did not take his mother’s emotional support dog outside when he left to report the fire to 911. The dog was later found dead inside his crate.