ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Firefighters discovered copper wire burning in an east Albany building Tuesday, and investigators are asking for your help to find out where the wire came from.
South Georgia Law enforcement say this fire is unusual. They say copper wire burning is rare, because sales to scrap yards are so tightly regulated.
Firefighters answered the fire call to the old Flint River Marine building on East Broad Avenue about 4:00AM, and while putting it out quickly discovered it was someone burning copper wire. The crook was burning the wire in a fire set in a piano inside the building.
Albany Fire Investigator Sam Harris said, "We're very lucky that the fire was small. We're very lucky considering that they set the piano on fire, trying to steal the wire out of it also."
The wire being burned was a very heavy duty commercial grade, which leads investigators to believe it was stolen. They want to find out where it came from, so they can find the person who burned it.
Harris said "This wire was in rolls, and not in small increments. So by it being in a roll, that tells us that it is a big piece that was taken from some location."
The burned wire weighed more than 70 pounds, so it was a very large amount being burned. Investigators say the burning casing around this large amount of commercial wiring could be deadly.
Harris said "It puts off a poisonous gas. Not only can it harm the person that is burning the plastic, it can also harm the atmosphere."
The former boat shop is now owned by The Faith Center. Director Jared Averett did not want to talk to us on camera, but said the building is under renovation to be used in their ministry. There was a burglary last week, but Averett said there did not appear to be any forced entry today.
Fire investigators think the wiring could have been stolen from a demolition site. They are asking your help. If you have any information, call CRIMESTOPPERS at 436-TIPS.