AK man arrested for lying down in front of fire truck during wildfire response

(photo from AK Div of Forestry)
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NIKOLAEVSK, Alaska (KTUU) - A Nikolaevsk man was arrested after troopers say he prevented fire fighters from reaching an aggressive wildfire along the Kenai Peninsula on Monday afternoon.

Derek Jokay-Szilagyi, 45 of Nikolaevsk, was arrested at around 5:30 p.m. on May 14. Troopers said he impeded fire trucks from responding to the fire when he "laid down in the middle of the road and impeded a fire truck which was responding to a wild land fire."

That fire was eventually calmed by fire fighting efforts including helicopters dumping industrial bucket loads of water as well as fire retardant being spread on nearby homes. However, for a good portion of the response time, authorities considered the fire to be "threatening occupied residences in Nikolaevsk."

Jokay-Szilagyi was arrested and remanded into the Homer Jail for multiple charges, including disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, as the fire was threatening homes.

Authorities said Monday they believe the fire to be human caused and it remains under investigation.

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