To catch an arsonist - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

To catch an arsonist

July 25, 2007

Valdosta - Arsonists start fires for many reasons.  "Anger, financial problems, and some people just get a thrill out of watching stuff burn," says Lt. Edgar Tooley with the Valdosta Fire Department.

But proving a fire is arson related and convicting an arsonist are hard for fire investigators to do.  "If you don't have someone who said I've done it or someone who said I saw him do it or incriminating evidence, it's very hard to prove," says Capt. James Williams

There are many steps firefighters take before calling it an arson.  "We don't call it an arson until we can prove that. In doing that we have to collect evidence, do a series of interviews, picture taking and that kind of stuff," Williams adds.

Once the fire was determined to be arson related, investigators look for accelerants, the homeowners financial background and if valuable property was removed from the home before the fire occurred.  "If a person is going to set a house on fire, they are going to take the good stuff out," Lt. Tooley says.

All this must be done as soon as possible, because the more time passes, the harder it is to put the fire starter behind bars.  "If we can gather enough information and get a suspect in the first 24 to 48 hours, we pretty much can get a conviction," Lt. Tooley adds.

Most law enforcers offer rewards to anyone who gives information that may lead to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=arson/AE

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • American Legion Post 30 hosts Memorial Day breakfast

    American Legion Post 30 hosts Memorial Day breakfast

    Monday, May 29 2017 11:33 AM EDT2017-05-29 15:33:45 GMT

    Albany's American Legion Post 30 hosted a breakfast on Monday morning to honor the country's fallen heroes.

    More >>

    Albany's American Legion Post 30 hosted a breakfast on Monday morning to honor the country's fallen heroes.

    More >>
  • Phoebe Putney honors missing and fallen veterans

    Phoebe Putney honors missing and fallen veterans

    Monday, May 29 2017 10:12 AM EDT2017-05-29 14:12:38 GMT
    The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main (Source:WALB)The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main (Source:WALB)

    Phoebe Putney is honoring fallen and missing veterans with a Missing and Fallen Comrade Table. The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main and will be displayed through the end of the month.

    More >>

    Phoebe Putney is honoring fallen and missing veterans with a Missing and Fallen Comrade Table. The table is located inside the cafeteria of Phoebe Main and will be displayed through the end of the month.

    More >>
  • One dead in Albany wreck

    One dead in Albany wreck

    Monday, May 29 2017 9:56 AM EDT2017-05-29 13:56:04 GMT

    One person was killed and five others were injured in a wreck in Albany early Sunday morning.

    More >>

    One person was killed and five others were injured in a wreck in Albany early Sunday morning.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly