Investigators looking into possible arsons - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Investigators looking into possible arsons

July 06, 2005

Thomasville-- While investigators don't know for sure four house fires in Thomasville were deliberately set, they do suspect it.

"The main thing right off the bat is finding out the cause, finding what happened, where it happened, and go from there," says Thomasville Fire Rescue chief, Bryan Croft. Each of the four fires Croft is referring to have happened since late May.

Four possible arsons in that short period of time is out of the ordinary for a city of Thomasville's size. "You take them all one at a time. You look at what you have, what you saw when you first came in, if there's anything unusual. You go ahead and try to preserve the evidence," says Croft.

That evidence that's being analyzed right now, while Croft and his firefighters anxiously anticipate arrests. "Everything is investigated by the crime lab. And we wait, standby and wait for the results," says Croft.

One house fire near "Shepherd's Bait and Tackle" is a prime example of what investigators look for in an arson. Take its point of origin for instance. It started in the back of the house, away from the road, and away people's view. "Certain things are left, certain things don't get burned, and people don't think about that," says Croft.

Arsonists also don't think about the penalties of their action. The prison sentence for arson depends on the degree and if there were any injuries. Then there's the lives that could be lost in the fire, or fighting it. "Setting fires and endangering my firefighters, that's not going to be accepted at all," says Croft. Fortunately, no one was hurt in any of these fires, and officials don't believe they're connected.

There was also a confirmed arson last week that county firefighters handled. Investigators say Tajuan Godwin burned down his mother's mobile home. He's is charged with arson and criminal damage to property.

Feedback: news@walb.com