Gwinnett Fire officials are currently investigating a series of recent fires in Gwinnett as arson, two of them in a Loganville neighborhood. Lt. Colin S. Rhoden, public information officer for Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services, said authorities do not believe that these fires are connected.
“We do have surveillance of the last one, an early morning vehicle fire in Buford, and we hope to be able to release the footage to the media,” Rhoden said.
Information naming four of the fires as arson, including the Buford vehicle fire and a house fire on June 27 in the 2400 block of was sent to media outlets Tuesday. The other two included a house fire in unincorporated Stone Mountain on June 22 and another on Vivid Drive near Lilburn on July 22.
Last month, authorities said an early morning house fire in the in Loganville also was arson. This is in the same neighborhood as the June 27 fire on Range Heights Terrace in Loganville. All five of these fires were in unincorporated areas of Gwinnett County.
Rhoden said except for the close proximity of the two Loganville house fires, he has no information connecting the two at this point. All are being investigated as separate incidents. Officials hope that the video surveillance of the vehicle fire in Buford on July 24 will help identify the person involved in that case.
According to a press release, a neighbor called the emergency dispatch center and said they woke up to the sound of a car horn at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, July 24. The neighbor tried to wake the owner to let him know that the black Ford F-150 pickup truck in the driveway was on fire. The neighbor, as well as Gwinnett police officers, tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire. By the time firefighters arrived, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames and was causing damage to the exterior of the brick home. The fire was extinguished and fire investigators began an investigation. Following that investigation, the fire was ruled as arson.
Rhoden said surveillance video taken by the homeowner revealed a possible dark-skinned man exiting a four-door sedan, driven by a second individual. The dark-skinned male broke out the passenger window of the pickup and then threw something inside, which ignited the vehicle. An opportunity to obtain surveillance footage as well as a sound bite with the Fire PIO will be made available on Wednesday.
Fire Investigators are asking anyone with information on this and any of the other four cases to please contact the Gwinnett Fire Arson and Explosives Investigation Section at 678-518-4890 or the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.
Georgia Arson Control, Inc. offers a reward of UP TO $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for arson.