Fire Chief Christopher Herzog was arrested in Cannelton, Indiana, on Dec. 27, while trying to put out a fire (video below).
Cannelton Volunteer Firefighters and police fought over who had authority while the house burned to the ground, reports WEHT and WTVW.
Police investigators said that Herzog shoved and cursed at Officer Ryen Foertsch several times while Foertsch was attempting to clear the house.
"I was in shock," said Chris Zukeschwerdt, whose home burned down during the incident. "But when I seen that, and the people and the faces of those firefighters, to see their leader being pulled out of here while he was fighting a fire, it was just unreal. I've never seen anything like it in my life."
Zukeschwerdt, a former EMT for 40 years, recalled the police saying: "We're in charge of this scene now," and several firefighters said they were going to pack up their gear.
According to Zukeschwerdt, the assistant fire chief told the firefighters not to leave, and to "make sure this fire is out."
The fire was not out, however, and the home burned down.
The Perry County News reported on its Facebook page that Herzog was arrested by Indiana State Police called to the scene by Cannelton Police Chief Lee Hall.
In another twist, Herzog was bailed out of the Perry County Jail by Cannelton Mayor Mary Snyder.
Herzog was charged with battery against a police officer, a felony, reports WEHT and WTVW.
According to Photography Is Not A Crime, John C. (Bull) Smith, district chairman of the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, said that Foertsch was not in his police uniform and it was very dark at the scene.
Firefighters reportedly said that Herzog was trying to stop Foertsch from breaking a house window, allowing more oxygen into the home, and thus spreading the fire in a dangerous backdraft.