Franklin Twp. man pleads no contest in trailer fire
LISBON – A Franklin Township man accused of setting his own trailer on fire and then stopping firefighters from extinguishing it pleaded no contest in Columbiana County Municipal Court on Monday to the charge of misconduct at an emergency.
Appearing by video arraignment, Russell D. Lightner, 34, Foundry Hill, Salineville, told Judge Mark Frost he was trying to burn the wood on the trailer, which he owns, so he could scrap the metal from it. He called the trailer “dilapidated and not livable.” Lightner said the trailer was on his property and he told Frost he owned it, with no lien on the trailer.
According to Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey Jr., a county sheriff’s office deputy had to be called after Lightner interfered with the efforts of Franklin Township and Salineville firefighters called to the scene by a neighbor, who saw the trailer on fire.
Frost questioned why Lightner would attempt to burn his trailer on a day when the wind was blowing so hard and during a season where people are not even permitted to burn their trash.
“It was pretty wet out my way,” Lightner said of Sunday’s conditions. “I did not know about a no burn season.”
Frost fined Lightner $250 and sentenced him to 30 days in jail, but said he will revisit the jail sentence during a review hearing set for Nov. 25. The hearing will also be used to determine restitution for the cost of two volunteer fire departments responding to the intentionally set fire.