UPDATE: (Statement from Humane Educational Society)

Humane Educational Society Animal Protection Officers were called to investigate a possible case of animal cruelty committed by a volunteer firefighter at the Highway 58 Fire Department. Reports indicated that the individual found the raccoon on the premise of the Highway 58 fire department and shot the animal with a 40 caliber handgun then burned the raccoon not knowing whether it was still alive or dead.

The Humane Educational Society sent the animal's remains to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy to verify whether the animal had been burned alive. The necropsy report indicated that the animal died as a result of gun fire before being burned. No charges against the volunteer firefighter are pending at this time. 

PREVIOUS STORY:

A raccoon was reportedly set ablaze while alive by a Highway 58 volunteer firefighter Friday.

Bob Citrullo with the Humane Educational Society tells Channel 3 that the raccoon was last seen alive at the Highway 58 fire station. 

Citrullo says the firefighter admitted to taking the animal to the Thatch Road public boat ramp, where it was found burned. 

The firefighter said he shot it, according to Citrullo, and wasn’t sure if it was alive or dead while burned.

Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department Chief C.R. Harris says he isn’t aware of the incident. He hasn’t spoken with the firefighter in question yet, but plans on it. He’s only heard what the TWRA and HES have said.

The TWRA is also investigating the incident.