REDDING, Calif. – Police in California say they will pursue criminal charges against a cleanup worker who posted photos of himself in properties destroyed in a wildfire that some are calling disrespectful.
The man, identified by Paradise Police as Rob Freestone, worked on cleanup efforts as a third-party contractor for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a spokesman for the utility company said.
The Camp Fire swept through Northern California last month, killing at least 86 people and destroying 14,000 homes.
Freestone appears to have posted several inflammatory images on his Facebook page while working in the Camp Fire area.
One post showed cleanup workers posing for a photo in a burned out RV. One showed a dead cat with a bottle up to its mouth. Another showed him jumping on a burned-out trampoline with the caption: "Trampolines are stupid. (By the way), it used to be called a Jumpoline until your mom got on it."
Screenshots of the posts were published on the Town of Paradise Facebook page Friday night. Paradise police public information officer Matt Gates said his department learned of the situation early Saturday morning after seeing posts on social media.
Gates said police have yet to interview Freestone. Although Freestone has not been charged with a crime, Gates said police will pursue whatever criminal charges apply to his actions.
"It's shocking. It’s disheartening," Gates said Saturday, when the last set of evacuations was lifted for homeowners. "It’s the type of thing no one needs to see right before they come into town."
A spokesman for PG&E, Paul Doherty, said Freestone has been removed from Camp Fire cleanup.
"We learned of his reprehensible and unfortunate actions today," Doherty said. "Immediate action was taken, and this individual is no longer working with the Camp Fire response."
Freestone was fired from his job at Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., according to spokesperson Jerry Tanaka. The San Leandro company sent out a press release Saturday stating three employees involved in the incident had been terminated.
The press release reads:
We have identified three participants in this abhorrent event and their employment has been terminated. Bigge expects its employees and contractors to work with the utmost integrity and professionalism. The behavior of these individuals is not consistent with our company values and ethical code. Bigge regrets that the residents of Paradise and Butte County have suffered an egregious insult during an already devastating time at the hands of these three individuals. Bigge supports and appreciates all our surrounding communities.
This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Police consider charges against Camp Fire cleanup worker who posted 'reprehensible' photos