Home Fire News Polk fire captain resigns amid investigation into deadly fire

Polk fire captain resigns amid investigation into deadly fire


The Polk County fire captain accused of posting photos and taking videos during at least two fires has resigned.

Capt. James Williams, who has faced criticism for the way he handled a fatal fire in North Lakeland on Nov. 23, resigned on Tuesday.

In a press release, fire officials said the resignation was a result of an internal investigation launched after Williams was accused of posting photos or videos during an emergency response.

Williams was suspended for 24 hours without pay for shooting a Snapchat video of the fatal fire scene in North Lakeland.

In February, county officials began a second investigation after WTSP Channel 10 News reported that Williams shot a video at a house fire days before the fatal fire that claimed the life of Lorretta Pickard.

Chris Jonckheer, a spokesman with Polk County Fire Rescue, said that internal investigation has been completed. He said details of that inquiry were not immediately available.

Williams, 34, was was hired in 2008 by PCFR. In July 2013, he received written counseling for parking in a handicapped spot at the fire station.

That same year, he received a written reprimand when he backed a fire engine into a fence post — scraping a rail and breaking a light, according to records.

In May 2017, he became captain. He was paid an annual salary of $55,502.

Photos: Scene from fatal fire that killed Lakeland woman

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