BEDFORD, BEDFORD COUNTY - He volunteers to save people and homes from fires, but now one Bedford County firefighter is accused of putting people's lives in danger by setting a fire himself.
Terry Lee Sykes, 39, is in the Bedford County Correctional Facility. He might not be getting out anytime soon. His bail is set at $3 million. Sykes, who is a volunteer firefighter, is charged with three counts of attempted homicide.
Police say he set fire to a house on East Pitt Street Monday morning. His ex girlfriend and two other people live in the home. Investigators arrested Sykes hours after the fire started thanks to some eyewitnesses.
Two witnesses told police they saw a man matching Sykes' description on the back porch of the home. They saw the man pouring some kind of liquid on the patio. Moments later the back porch caught on fire. Luckily all three people living there got out safely, but prosecutors said they're not taking this arson lightly.
“Because neighbors were quick to respond I’m not sure that makes it any less serious. You know it's good news that nobody was hurt but just because the fire was under control or he did a bad job setting the fire or anything like that really doesn't mitigate what he did,” Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins said.
Police asked Sykes' ex girlfriend if she knew anyone who would want to do this. She immediately mentioned Sykes. They arrested him at his apartment, just a few homes down from where his ex lived. Witnesses were then able to confirm he was the man they saw on the porch.