Albany man wakes in time to escape arson fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany man wakes in time to escape arson fire

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Johnny Wallace Johnny Wallace
Brandi Wallace Brandi Wallace
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Albany Fire Department is investigating several arson fires in this same neighborhood, to see if they are connected. Johnny Wallace said a number of homes around his duplex have been burned by arsonists, but he never thought his house would be targeted.

Johnny Wallace said he has no idea why someone would set his house on fire, but he knows how close they came to killing him. "I just thank God for my niece," Wallace said. Johnny's niece Brandi Wallace lives next door in the duplex in the 1300 block of East Society. 

About four Sunday morning someone knocked on Brandi's door, waking her up to tell her the duplex was on fire. Something told her to check on her Uncle Johnny next door. "Not often he is there," said Brandi Wallace. 

"I knocked on the door, just so happens he was there.  Smoke was coming out as he was coming.  So he got out in time." Someone piled bras and clothes against Johnny's back door, and set it on fire. The fire burned through the door, with the smoke pouring inside.

"The house was full of smoke.  And when she came and knocked on the door, as soon as I woke up and got out of the house, I'm throwing up and stuff.  Because the smoke got in my lungs and stuff," Johnny Wallace said.

Wallace noted that several homes in his neighborhood are vacant, and have been set on fire in recent years, many of them set on the back porch or the back door.  Two homes just a block apart were set on fire at the same time.  This weekend they came after him. "I ain't even playing like that, because they could have killed me.  I don't know what they got going on." Brandi Wallace said many people use the yard next to their duplex as a walk through, and someone walking by spotted the fire and alerted her. 

She has taken steps to protect her home. "It was pretty dark in the back, so what I did was I got me some light bulbs and I just put lights around the house," Brandi Wallace said. She hopes the lights will keep the arsonist from coming back.

Albany Firefighters say they are not sure if all the arson fires in this neighborhood are related, but they are investigating.

 

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