VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta firefighters responded to a blaze in the 300 Hamilton Street early Monday morning, and quickly extinguished a fire on the porch of the house.
While on scene, both fire fighters and police saw that the fire appeared to have been intentionally set.
Willie Frank Nelson, 71, was located inside the vacant house. As he was questioned, he gave officers false information several times.
An investigation pointed to Nelson having intentionally set the fire to the vacant residence.
"Any time you have someone that's intentionally setting fires, especially in a small residential neighborhood, there's any number of things catastrophic that could happen. Gas lines could explode, cars could explode, children could get injured, you name it," said VPD Lieutenant Adam Bembry.
Nelson was transported to the Lowndes County Jail, and charged with Felony Arson in the First Degree and Misdemeanor Obstruction of an Officer.
"This case illustrates the excellent working relationship and professionalism of both the Valdosta Fire Department and Valdosta Police Department. In this case, both agencies worked together to put this offender in jail before anyone could be hurt by his actions," said Lieutenant Bembry.
The damage was estimated to be approximately one thousand dollars.