A man who claimed to be a firefighter in Texas responded to a massive fire at a Houston Islamic center with a controversial tweet that read, “Let it burn ... block the fire hydrant.”
On Feb. 13, a portion of the Quba Islamic Institute in Houston went up in flames. Firefighters spent more than an hour extinguishing the fire, but part of the building was completely destroyed. According to reports, the blaze was estimated to have caused $100,000 in damage.
In response to the fire, alleged volunteer firefighter Dustin Herron sent out the now-controversial tweet and prompted Twitter users to speak out against the man’s hateful post.
According to a representative for the Crystal Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Herron was never affiliated with the department as he claimed on social media.
“There have been recent posts on social media from someone stating they are a member of our Fire Department and have posted hate messages against the Islamic Community,” the representative's statement read. “Please know that this person, Dustin Herron, is not a member of the Crystal Beach Volunteer Fire Dept; nor has he ever been a member of our fire department. We are in the process of trying to track down Mr. Herron regarding the comments he made. We have also notified the Galveston County Sheriff Dept. regarding Mr Herron falsely stating he is a fire fighter within our organization. We have received many e-mails regarding his recent social media post and comments. Please know that our Volunteer's (sic) give 100% effort 100% of the time.”
The response from Twitter users following Herron’s post called on the man to resign from his position with the department, if in fact he was a volunteer firefighter.
“Why the hate? Serve and protect? Or just hate?” one tweet read. “You are an embarrassment to all public safety officials and volunteers, what you posted about the Islamic center is shameful!” another said.
Investigators suspect the fire was a result of arson. On Feb. 14, the FBI said it was monitoring the situation.