Firefighter charged in 20 blazes

Firefighter charged in 20 blazes

December 15th, 2010 by Jeremy Belk in News

A volunteer firefighter has been charged with arson in connection with 20 fires in LaFayette over the past five years.

LaFayette Police Chief Tommy Freeman confirmed Tuesday evening that an arrest has been made in connection with several arsons in the LaFayette area.

"We have made an arrest in the case," Freeman said. "He has confessed to several arsons."

LaFayette Sgt. Stacey Meeks said the suspect has confessed to 20 of 30 arsons that have taken place in LaFayette over the last five years.

The suspect is a "serial arsonist," Meeks said.

A news conference will be held at 2 p.m. today and all other information, including the suspect's name, will be discussed then, Freeman said. He did confirm, however, that the person charged had been a volunteer firefighter.

Meeks said officers are thankful to have the suspect in custody but sorry that it is someone who is supposed to be helping the community.

"You never want to see that," he said.

The arrest stemmed from a multiagency investigation involving the LaFayette Police Department, the Georgia Fire Marshal's Office, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Earlier this month, the LaFayette Police Department investigated two arsons set within an hour of each other on Dec. 6, the last arsons that led up to the arrest Tuesday.

One of the fires was at 1688 W. North Main St. and the other was across town at 511 W. Main St., officials said.

Staff writer Joy Lukachick contributed to this story.

Contact staff writer Jeremy Belk at or call 423-757-6345.