SAVANNAH, GA (June 4, 2015): Violent Crimes detectives are investigating theories that a childhood spat may have led to an intentionally-set fire that destroyed an eight-apartment building in west Chatham County Wednesday.
Two prior incidents – one involving an attempt to start a fire — in the Ocho Rios Villa Apartments on Westgate Court were reported in the building Monday and Tuesday. West Chatham precinct officers of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department on special patrol had just left the complex when the fire began at 9:46 a.m.
All apartments in the building were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable in the fire that appeared to be started with the use of accelerates, possibly through the use of a container that was thrown through a window. Accelerates also seemed to have been applied to a stairway leading to upstairs apartments.
Three occupants, a 45-year-old male, 44-year-old female and a 14-year-old male, were transported for treatment of minor injuries after escaping through windows. The 14-year-old had awakened his sleeping younger brother and both had to escape through the window because of fire on the stairway.
A similar container had been thrown through a window in the building Monday morning and a rock had been thrown through another on Tuesday.
Metro detectives are working with state fire investigators in the investigation. They are conferring with the District Attorney’s Office as the investigation progresses.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637) using the keyword CSTOP2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.
A Tip Line also is open directly to investigators at (912) 525-3124 and most area clergy have agreed to serve as liaisons for anyone who would like to share information with police anonymously.