Reward offered in Mitchell County arson - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Reward offered in Mitchell County arson

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July 13, 2006

Mitchell County -- A ten thousand dollar reward is being offered in an arson at a Mitchell County Jailer's home.   Arson Investigators say it is fortunate no one died in the fire.

  About midnight Tuesday, neighbors in the South Fork Apartments on South MaCarthur Street heard a smoke alarm in an apartment and called the Fire Department.

Investigators say someone kicked in Courtney Smith's door, set a fire inside, and then locked the door again. Smith was not at home when the fire was set.

 State Fire Safety Commissioner John Oxendine says if neighbors had not acted quickly, the fire could have been deadly. Oxendine said "Another five or ten minutes this entire building would have been engulfed. At about midnight, that time of night, we would have had not only numerous buildings destroyed, but we would have had some fatalities. "

 No arrests have been made in the arson, but Oxendine says an intensive investigation is underway by the State Fire Marshal's office. He hopes the ten thousand dollar reward will help.

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