WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A former Hainesville volunteer firefighter pleaded guilty on Thursday to four counts of arson after he was accused of starting eight fires.

Courtney Keel, of Mineola, was initially arrested in September 2021 after the sheriff’s office began investigating “suspicious” fires the volunteer fire department had worked over the last year.

In one of the fires, authorities said a hay bale caught fire on July 27, 2020 and Keel was seen on video driving away when the fire had just stated and returned later with the department to help put out the fire.

Keel pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree felony arson, and motions for new trial have since been filed in his case.