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New video surfaces in Polk Fire Rescue investigation

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polk fire new video

Amber Addison can’t understand the mindset.  A woman is trapped in her burning home and a fire captain on the scene is taking video and sharing it on Snapchat.  

The woman who was trapped was her aunt, 76-year-old Lorretta Pickard.  

The fire captain was James Williams.  

The deadly fire happened on Nov. 23 and is now the subject of multiple investigations.

Now, another video has surfaced.

“Like, what is going on with him? What is he thinking,” said Addison from her Lakeland home. “This isn’t funny. This isn’t a game. These are people’s lives.”

Fire officials suspended Williams for violating policy, shooting the video and sharing it. They report that he told them that was the only time he had done that.  

County Commission Chairman George Lindsey says he’s gotten a copy of the new video and the county will conduct a throrough investigation.  

“If it’s found valid and what it proports to be, then that would be part of the evidence that would be neccessary to use through the personell policy and proceedures,” said Chariman Lindsey.  

“Both the county personell policies and the firefighters bill of rights and the union contract.”

Commissioner Lindsey says the county is being very deliberate in this investigation, because if the second video is from Williams, that would indicate he wasn’t truthful when answering questions about the first video.  

“And that’s why we want to make sure we go through very carefully,” said Lindsey. “Validate the material.”

Captain Williams remains on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigations.

Addison is hopeful the county will do what’s right.  

“I’m very happy that they have it and are doing the investigation,” said Addison. “To prove that it did, in fact, come from James Williams.”

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