ESTERO, Fla. - A top Estero Fire Rescue official has been fired after admitting to abandoning crews at a major brush fire. She's also accused of breaking protocol on at least one other occasion.
Matthew Klein, the attorney representing Estero Fire Rescue confirmed that Battalion Chief Jeannine Horton has been terminated. He said the trouble started back in July at a large brush fire off I-75, between Bonita Beach and Corkscrew Roads.
Klein said Horton left the scene before accounting for all resources, abandoning crews of San Carlos Fire District. The crews in the woods had no backup. The 9-year veteran never reported this. When officials found out about the violation of protocol, they launched an investigation.
Klein said "Horton admitted that she did indeed abandon crews, and her employment was terminated."
Klein said Assistant Fire Chief Mark Wahlig alleged Horton violated protocol on another occasion. He said Horton directed crews to enter an unoccupied residence and re-wire smoke detectors. We were unable to get in touch with Jeannine Haorton for comment.