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Utica preschool students accidentally exposed to pornography at fire prevention event

What was supposed to be an educational film about fire prevention for a group of preschool children in Utica was not what educators or the Utica Fire Department had expected.
Utica (WSYR-TV/WUTR-TV) -- What was supposed to be an educational film about fire prevention for a group of preschool children in Utica was not what educators or the Utica Fire Department had expected.

Eyewitness News is reporting that the video, shown during last year’s Fire Prevention Week, included unintended pornographic material.

Sources told Eyewitness News that it was covered up immediately, but some are now questioning who was actually behind the video.

Utica Assistant Corporation Counsel John Orilio told Eyewitness News he was not aware of any claims on the matter.

However, Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks is aware of what happened. He says it was determined that someone had tampered with one of the department's movies or cameras that they use for preschool children.

Chief Brooks says they don't know if it was a firefighter or a civilian, but there is an ongoing investigation regarding the matter.

Brooks also made it clear that if someone in the fire department was involved in the matter that they will be held accountable.

"We have a zero tolerance. Zero tolerance for pornography in the fire department," said Chief Brooks. "Members are not even allowed to have magazines in lockers, nothing is allowed in this building."

Sgt. Hauck with the Utica Police Department was made aware of the incident through the Utica Fire Department. But, he said during the course of an investigation, they realized it was a personnel matter and referred everything back to the Utica Fire Department and Corporation Counsel.

When contacted by Eyewitness News on Monday, Mark Curley with the Corporation Counsel gave a firm “no comment” regarding the investigation.

Orilio said the administration, nor the Corporation Counsel, can discuss internal investigations.

Chief Brooks also said to his understanding, the incident was minimal and children were not really exposed to pornography, but someone did tamper with the camera.

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