THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) - A house fire in Thomas County displaced a family of five on Friday, and now a man is being charged with arson and burglary.
Many neighbors in the community weren't surprised to see Steven Green had been charged in the burning of the Thomas County home.
The fire at the house is the latest crime Green has been charged with. He has been arrested in Thomasville in recent years, mostly for domestic violence.
"She's been having trouble with him for the last two years, they have been fighting, jumping on her and beating her up that's why she moved in with her mom and dad. To keep him from bothering her all the time," said neighbor CJ Wyche.
Most of the property is destroyed from what's now being investigated as an arson fire.
Wyche was one of many neighbors who saw flames and immediately ran to the home off Pine Lake Road to see if anyone was inside.
"And I said, they might be in the house! So we kicked the door in and went in there to see if they were in the house," explained Wyche.
After seeing no one was inside, Wyche pulled out his phone to dial 911.
"We were able to determine it was an arson because of pour patterns that were discovered and also multiple points of origin," said Lieutenant Tim Watkins with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators believe Green set the fire. They say many neighbors saw him in the area just minutes before the fire started.
"The victims boyfriend Mr.Steven Lamar Green was seen in the area just before the house was actually noticed ablaze," explained Lieutenant Watkins.
Green is now charged with burglary and arson. As for the family of the home, they are safe, but childhood pictures,clothes and most everything they owned are now covered in ashes inside the home.
A few of the neighbors were working on gathering clothing items, and anything else the family may need to make this difficult time in their lives a little easier.