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Wannabe Weatherman Arrested For Setting Fire For Facebook Likes

A 21-year-old aspiring meteorologist reportedly admitted he had started a fire in order to get attention for his selfie videos.

Posted on November 13, 2016, at 10:23 p.m. ET

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A Kentucky man was arrested for arson last week after admitting he started a fire to get more engagement on his Facebook videos.

Johnny Mullins was charged with second-degree arson for a blaze in Letcher County, Jenkins Police Chief James Stephens told the Associated Press.

Mullins posted news about the weather on his various Facebook pages for years, attempting to work on his reporting skills. He posted several videos in November showing him near a blaze in eastern Kentucky.

In one video, he talks quickly about "dangerous forest conditions," pointing out "trees that are actually on fire right now."

"We have a very dangerous forest fire going on. We are dealing with drought conditions," he continues. "We do have helicopters flying over right now though, taking care of this. They are dropping a lot of water over the region."

"Of course, I have been dumped with water," he says, with a laugh.

He later coughs on the video as he is getting low to show the smoke from the fire. "The smoke is just very bad," he says. "The whole area is completely up in smoke."

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=799418990197835&set=pb.100003892255622.-2207520000.1479091112.&type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=797398270399907&set=pb.100003892255622.-2207520000.1479091112.&type=3&theater

"It's really too bad because he's not a bad kid — he's just misguided," Stephens told the AP about Mullins.

"He likes to do Facebook videos and have people follow him on his 'weather forecast,' so that's pretty much why he did what he did," the chief said. "He enjoyed the attention he got from the Facebook stuff."

"He didn't realize how much danger he was putting other people in," Stephens added.

Also in Kentucky, a teen in Harlan County was arrested for arson last week. Across the Southeast, other fires have been suspected to have been started by arson, including at least 20 wildfires in North Carolina.

BuzzFeed News has contacted the Jenkins Fire Department for more information.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.