Firefighter charged with defrauding burn camp for kids

Kevin Ashfield, upper left-hand corner, has been charged with fraud. (LinkedIn/Fotolia Photos)

Kevin Ashfield, upper left-hand corner, has been charged with fraud. (LinkedIn/Fotolia Photos)

Joe Warmington, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

TORONTO -- A city firefighter has been charged with fraud and sources say it has to do with his involvement in a camp for child burn victims.

Kevin Ashfield, who has been an acting captain with Toronto Fire and a director of Camp Bucko, was arrested Wednesday.

He was charged with two counts of fraud under $5,000, one count of attempting fraud over $5,000 as well as a single count of obtaining funds under false pretences.

Sources say Ashfield was to make a court appearance Wednesday after being asked to surrender to detectives from the financial crimes unit.

Const. Sarah Diamond said the suspect, who is not being held in custody, has been asked to return to Scarborough court on Feb. 5 but did not comment on the specific charges or allegations against Ashfield.

The whole notion that a one-time director of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association and someone who worked hard to raise funds for the camp could face these allegations has rocked those who have participated and believed in the Camp Bucko initiative.

"It makes me sick," said one firefighter. "All us camp volunteers give up a week of vacation to go up there and help these amazing kids and how anyone, let alone a firefighter, could (be accused of) this is beyond me since (those who) work in fire departments are there to save lives and help those affected by fire."

Ashfield, a firefighter since 1995, has been involved with Camp Bucko for many years and in many ways was its staunchest supporter.

Camp Bucko has headquarters at 265 Port Union Rd., but actually rents space at other camps during the summer months.

Ashfield wrote members of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association in 2006 saying, "Camp Bucko provides an opportunity for children recovering from burn injuries to meet other children who share similar feelings and experiences. We are looking for firefighters and adult family members to volunteer with the daily experiences of the campers."

Officials from Camp Bucko did not return phone calls to QMI Agency Wednesday nor could Ashfield be reached for comment.