Brush fires blamed on same culprit

SNELLVILLE - Gwinnett County fire investigators continue to work to find who's responsible for setting a series of fires in a Snellville neighborhood.

Lt. Thomas Rutledge, Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman, said a series of six brush fires have occurred in yards of homes on Waters End Lane in Snellville.

"We believe these fires are intentionally set by the same person or persons," Rutledge said.

Rutledge said firefighters became aware of the fires beginning Dec. 10; the latest fire was set Monday.

As of press time Wednesday, investigators were not releasing the exact addresses of the homes involved in the alleged arson fires.

Three of the six fires were set near the same house on Waters End Lane. Rutledge said investigators believe five of the fires began by setting fire to pine straw and brush close to the houses.

One began when someone set fire to a blanket draped across the edge of a deck.

Rutledge said two of the fires, including the one involving the blanket, caused minor damage to two houses, but the remaining four were extinguished before flames made it to the structures.

"We know the residents are concerned and so are we," Rutledge said. "Investigators are working diligently and are investigating these incidents as active arson fires."

He said investigators have not said why the neighborhood homes are being targeted or who could be setting the fires.

Rutledge said he believes the fires were set at different times of day over the nine days the fires occurred.

He encourages anyone with information about the fires to call the Gwinnett County Fire, Arson and Explosives Unit at 678-518-4890.

He said Georgia Arson Control Inc. offers a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the arsons. Anyone with information should call 1-800-282-5804.