Authorities investigate a string of arsons in Moultrie - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Authorities investigate a string of arsons in Moultrie

July 21, 2007

By: Cade Fowler

Moultrie -- A string of suspected arsons are under investigation tonight in Moultrie.

Shortly after 10 p.m. last night, fire and emergency units were dispatched to multiple house fires in a three block section of Southwest Moultrie.

It was a busy night for fire and emergency personnel battling multiple suspected arson fires.

"Between 10 o'clock and 10:58 we had three working house fires within a three block area here," said Chief Kenneth Hannon of the Moultrie Fire Department.

Investigators say five homes, including one duplex were believed to be intentionally set on fire within minutes of each other. While 4 of the 5 homes were abandoned, one was occupied.

While no one was hurt or seriously injured, residents of this community are concerned for their safety.

"I've got 4 children living with me and I just want them to stay away from house and my children," said Katrina Thorton.

Additional fire units from across the area were called in to assist the Moultrie Fire Department in their efforts to contain the fires.

Chief Hannon added, "It is suspicious because we don't normally have this many fires in this small amount of time."

Daybreak shed light on the damaged homes. The structures were gutted from smoke and fire just blocks apart from one another. In at least 2 of the fires, the suspect or suspects came back to those locations to start additional fires.

An abandoned house at 924 SW Second Avenue in Moultrie was the second location set fire last night by the suspected arsonists or arsonists.

When fire officials arrived here shortly after 10:30 last night, they were able to put out the blaze only to see the fire re-set some thirty-minutes to one hour later.

Moultrie Police Investigators are working alongside fire investigators following up on possible leads in the case.

"Witnesses stated that they possibly saw a black male dressed in all black running from the scene of one of the fires," says Seth Walters, investigator with the Moultrie Police Dept.

Prior to last night's fires, two other abandoned houses in the same neighborhood also suspiciously caught fire on July 3 and July 4.

With the investigation on going, authorities are taking extra steps to prevent and hopefully apprehend the person or persons behind this dangerous string of arsons.

Investigators urge anyone with information to contact them immediately.

An investigator with the insurance fire safety commissioners office is assisting with the investigation.

The number you can call if you have information is 1-800-282-5804. You can also contact the Moultrie Police and Fire departments.

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