BAXTER SPRINGS — The Joplin Globe is reporting the names of the three firefighters who were released from the Baxter Springs Fire Department nearly three weeks ago.
According to the Globe after filing an open records request, it was released that firefighters Brandon Bailey, Jimmy Younger and Matt Page had all been fired.
The Baxter Springs News was aware of the allegations against Bailey, Younger and Page last week, but withheld the names pending the results of the investigation into accusations of looting in the wake of the May 22 tornado in Joplin.
Younger has said the allegations against him were incorrect.
“I wasn’t even at work,” Younger said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I was over there getting my step daughter out of her apartment.”
Younger said he feels like he was wrongly accused.
“I will be talking to a lawyer today (Tuesday),” Younger said.
The Globe reported Younger had said he tried to rent a mini-excavator to speed up the process of digging through the rubble. Younger said the company told him they were not renting the equipment to individuals and Younger told them he was with the Baxter Springs Fire Department.
Younger told the Globe the business contacted BSFD to check on his claim and he was subsequently fired.
Fire Chief Les Page had been placed on administrative leave but was reinstated at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
The News contacted Page to ask about the release of the names. Page said he was unable to comment.
According to a release from Baxter Springs Mayor Jenifer J. Bingham, the firefighters were released for conduct in "disregard of departmental policies and conduct in the aftermath of the May 22 tornado."
As of press time no arrests have been made or charges filed in the case.