Decatur Co. authorities arrest suspected arsonists -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Decatur Co. authorities arrest suspected arsonists


By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

DECATUR COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Two arson suspects are accused of burning down an abandoned house in Decatur County.

This fire was in a different part of the county than the recent arsons in the Black Jack community.

But investigators are working to see if the suspects are linked to those fires as well.

At 11-am Thursday, someone called 9-1-1 about yet another Decatur County arson. But for the first time in months, this fire was well outside the Black Jack community.

"It was out of the normal circle where we're working at," explains Major Wendell Cofer of the Decatur County Sheriff's Office. "It's 15 miles away from those fires and a different kind of fire. So it's very difficult to tell right now."

The fire burned down a house on Cool Springs Road in Faceville.

Because the house is set back from the highway and hidden behind thick brush, investigators say the suspects could have easily gotten away if not for an observant citizen.

"He observed a person who set an abandoned house on fire," says Cofer. "They probably solved the case. They were able to get in a position to follow the car and get its tag number, get on the cell phone to call us and allow us to coordinate our response so we could get them in custody."

Now, investigators must determine whether the man and woman arrested Thursday are also responsible for the Black Jack arsons.

"We understand citizens are worried. We're out there every day interviewing and doing what we need to do. But you can rest assure that an arrest will be made."

Authorities say finding the criminals will also keep emergency personnel safer.

"We're worried," admits Cofer. "Even if it's an abandoned house, you still have the emergency responders from 20 miles away.

You have all these vehicles running at high speeds converging in on that scene. And the odds of motor vehicle accidents are exponentially higher. Dramatically higher."

Soon, investigators will know exactly how many fires their suspects are responsible for.

Investigators won't give us the names or pictures of the man and woman arrested.

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