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Local fires may be arson
State, local authorities investigate blazes
Anderson Lynn
Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson - photo by Special

Two suspicious fires at adjacent, unoccupied homes Monday morning have state and local investigators working to learn more about the suspected arson.
A citizen driving along Harville Road around 6 a.m. Monday saw smoke spiraling from an unoccupied new home in the Wedgefield Subdivision, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
When Bulloch County and Statesboro firefighters responded to the scene, they found two brand new, unoccupied homes on fire.
Bulloch County Fire Chief Randy Walker said the blazes may be an act of arson. However, that determination was yet unofficial Tuesday as state fire marshal’ s investigator Dan Meallor, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Inv. Capt. Todd Hutchens and others continued investigating the suspicious fires.
The suspicious blazes left one home with minimal fire damage, but heavy smoke and water damage. The second home, just 500 yards away, suffered heavier fire damage, along with smoke and water damage as well, he said.
“It’s very suspicious, “he said.
The homes were listed for sale, and were not furnished except for appliances installed in the homes, he said.
Authorities contacted the state fire marshal’s office and the sheriff department’s Criminal Investigations Division as soon as they realized the fires were suspicious, Anderson said.
“It’s highly unusual to have two buildings on fire that were unoccupied,” Walker said.
Investigators hope citizens may have tips regarding the fires, and Anderson reminds all citizens that calls are kept confidential.
“The investigation is ongoing, with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office and state fire marshal’s office working in conjunction,” he said. “Anyone who witnessed suspicious activity in the area around the time of the incident, or who has information on the fires, may contact Inv. Walter Deal of the Bulloch Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division at 912-764-1788 or State Fire Inv. Dan Meallor at (800) 656-2298.”
No one was present at the scene when firefighters arrived and no one was injured during the fires, he said.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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