Homeowner burned out by criminal - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Homeowner burned out by criminal

Jeanette Johnson (WALB image) Jeanette Johnson (WALB image)
Burned belongings (WALB image) Burned belongings (WALB image)
AFD's Sam Harris (WALB image) AFD's Sam Harris (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)

An East Albany woman lost everything when her home burned early Sunday morning, apparently by a burglar who set the fire to hide his crime. 
Jeanette Johnson has lived in her house for more than 20 years. Now she just wants to know why someone would burn her home.

Jeanette Johnson sat on the front porch of her home in the 2000 block of Cove's Court, while Investigators combed through the burned interior. 
"There's not really anything left.  A little of my jewelry and stuff was in there. That's all, I've come to get.  My pictures all were destroyed," she said.

About 2:00 Sunday morning firefighters were called to Johnson's home, and found fire raging in the lower level bedroom. She was not home.   Investigators say the fire was set on purpose in the closet of that room after someone broke into the home.

Albany Fire Investigator Sam Harris said "We are continuing with the investigation.  There are some items missing, that we are in the process of trying to locate."

Several friends and relatives were with Johnson, ready to start the clean up when the investigation was over.  Johnson said losing her pictures and family treasures breaks her heart.

"Memories of my mother and everybody," she said with a sigh. "It's just very disturbing to me.  Why somebody did this to me?   And I don't know why," Johnson said.

Investigators say it is not common for a burglar to commit arson, so they are also concerned. "We need to catch this person.  We need to get them off the street.  They need to be removed so they can't do this in the future again," Harris said.

Johnson wants to know who burned her house and why.  So she will feel safe when she is able to move back in. "I been here all my life, just put it like that. I want to stay here in my house," Johnson said.

Firefighters hope someone saw a person around that home on Cove's Court early Sunday morning. If you did, call CRIMESTOPPERS at 436-TIPS, and you could earn a reward.

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