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Cannelton Fire Department chief arrested after shoving police officer at fire scene

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Christopher Herzog

CANNELTON, Ind.– The Cannelton Fire Department chief was arrested Tuesday after an argument at the scene of a fire.

Firefighters and police officers responded to an active fire at 550 Knight Street. Cannelton police officer Ryen Foertsch and Perry County deputy Stephen Poehlein arrived at the scene and entered the burning home to make sure nobody was inside.

After clearing two rooms of the home, smoke became too overwhelming and they evacuated from the home.

Once outside, police say Foertsch attempted to break the window of a room that he was unable to clear.  Fire Chief Christopher Herzog approached Foertsch, pushed him hard enough to cause him to step back, and began shouting profanities at him, telling him to get off of his fire scene.

While Foertsch tried to explain they were clearing the burning home, Herzog pushed Foertsch again, and again yelled profanities at Foertsch to get off of his scene, according to state police.

Both officers discussed the situation with their superiors. After an investigation by Indiana State Police, Herzog was taken into custody and lodged in the Perry County Jail on a charge of battery against a public safety official, a level 6 felony.