Roofing company fire could be arson - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Roofing company fire could be arson

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Police suspect arson as the cause of a fire at a Valdosta business Wednesday morning.

They say someone kicked in the back door of Valdosta Roofing and Supply Company before the fire there.

It's not the only crime in the neighborhood.

Copper thieves also hit a library.

Firefighters check to make sure there's no more fire hiding inside Valdosta Roofing and Supply on Griffin Avenue. The back door of the building had been kicked in and graffiti sprayed on the wall.

"There was light smoke showing when we arrived on scene we had smoke and flames through the roof at the rear of the structure," said Battalion Chief Ralph Catlett.

They say the fire started in the storage room, ran up a wall and into the attic. A box of shingles was also found partially burned.

Police say it may have been purposely set ablaze.

"We are treating it as an arson until we prove it otherwise," said Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress.

The suspicious fire upsets neighbors and that's not the only issue they're dealing with,

"It's real jacked up," said Shadrin Best. "We can't have nothing over here anymore."

Just down the street, parts from an air conditioning unit were stolen for copper at the Southside Library between last week. 41 year old John Allen Miller of Lake Park is charged with the crime.

"The library's messed up," said Best. "We can't go to the library anymore for two weeks until they get it fix."

Because of the suspected thief people can't check out books used the computers or do anything at the library until they have their new unit installed.

"What they think is a harmless, victimless crime isn't," said Sean Strickland, the library's system administrator. "We serve a couple hundred people a day who are job hunting, using us for computer access."

He says he's disappointed it happened to such an important place to the community. Shadrin Best says if the fire is the work of an arsonist. He hopes the suspect's caught. @

The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to Valdosta Roofing and Supply.

Police continue to investigate and have not made any arrest.


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