Suspected arsonist arrested after returning to fire scene

LILBURN — A suspected arsonist was arrested by fire investigators after returning to the scene of a fire with gas cans in hand, fire officials say.

It all started when a fire engine was at the intersection of Indian Trail Lilburn Road and Steve Reynolds Boulevard and the attentive crew noticed a column of smoke south of the intersection. The crew found the source was a working fire at a previously burned residential structure at 1047 Indian Trail Lilburn Road in Lilburn.

On arrival at the home, firefighters observed visible smoke and flames inside a room on the front-left corner of the residence. After completing a walk-around of the structure, crews found the home was a vacant single-story residence on a basement that had been significantly damaged by fire about three weeks ago.

Additional crews arrived on scene and assisted with completing searches for victims, checking for fire extension, and ventilating the structure. No victims were found in the vacant home. While the previous fire had caused considerable damage to the structure, this fire was contained to the room of origin. No injuries were reported at the scene.

While firefighters were initially stretching a hose line to extinguish the fire, fire officials say a man on a bicycle with two plastic gas cans arrived at the property and made incriminating statements about the cause of the fire. A fire investigator was asked to respond to the scene to investigate. Upon the investigator’s arrival, the man with the gas cans was interviewed and admitted to not knowing the owners of the home and to starting the fire with a gasoline and a lighter that was still on his person.

The subject man involvement in the fire that occurred on the morning of July 9. With the evidence and statements provided by the suspect, Gwinnett Fire investigators took him into custody.

Fire Investigators obtained two criminal arrest warrants from the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court for Arson Without Owners Consent – First Degree (Felony) and Burglary with Intent to Commit Theft – First Degree (Felony).

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