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On the day that firefighters were being honored for their sacrifices around the country, one local firefighter was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic and a woman was arrested after setting fire to a structure that put firefighters’ lives at risk.

Cindy Ramirez, 51, of Sandersville was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and charged with arson in the fire that destroyed her home at 321 Hinton Road on Saturday.

Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna referred the incident to the state fire marshal because of “suspicious circumstances.” During the investigation, Ramirez implicated herself and was arrested by the JCSD, said Jones County Fire Council spokeswoman Dana Bumgardner.  

“The Jones County Fire Council will assist the state fire marshal in whatever way is needed,” she said.

Aside from the obvious monetary costs, McKenna noted the hazards firefighters face, not only fighting fire and their efforts to preserve life and property, but also in responding to those calls.

“The Jones County Fire Service will send a message that it will push for arsonists to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

Ramirez was booked into the Jones County Adult Detention Center on Tuesday afternoon. Bond was set at $10,000 and she posted that and was released a few hours later.

Also on Tuesday, Rustin Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Lane Thomas was directing traffic around a wreck scene when he was clipped by a passing vehicle’s side mirror. He did not seek medical treatment, Bumgardner said, but he was struck hard enough that it tore off the side mirror of the unidentified motorist’s car as it was trying to pass a collision on Highway 84 East at Jeff Byrd Road that had the right lane of 84 westbound blocked about 3 p.m. No citations were issued

Sandersville, Rustin, M & M, Glade and Powers volunteers responded to the scene. EMServ transported one unidentified patient with minor injuries. The JCSD and Mississippi Highway Patrol also responded.

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