Fire in townhome called arson

•LAWRENCEVILLE - Fire officials suspect arson as the cause of a Wednesday morning fire at at townhouse in Lawrenceville.

"The cause of the fire is incendiary in nature according to fire investigators," said Lt. Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department. "The fire is being investigated as an act of arson."

Rutledge said the call was dispatched at 9:19 a.m. to 1516 Park Grove Drive in Lawrenceville.

Firefighters arrived and had the fire under control by 9:31 a.m., he said.

The fire did not spread beyond the one unit, and damage to the townhouse was minor, he added.

No one was home at the time, and no injuries were reported.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Arson and Explosives section of the Fire Department 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 those responsible for arson.

Storage building destroyed by fire

•BUFORD - A small outbuilding in front of a Buford home on Shadburn Ferry Road caught fire Wednesday.

Firefighters arrived to find the building in flames. Firefighters doused hotspots, but the building was burned to the ground.

The fire was contained to the building, which was empty.

Fire investigators are unsure of the cause of the blaze.

Man charged with unlawful soliciting

•SNELLVILLE - Samuel Dove Baker Jr., 21, was arrested on a charge of soliciting residents without a permit in a Snellville neighborhood Monday.

Police were notified after the man allegedly tried to sell a Norton Estates resident a kind of cleaning solution.

According to the police report, Baker insisted on entering the victim's house, but when he saw the victim's large dog Baker fled.

Police received a previous warning about another incident in which Baker allegedly tried to solicit others with the same solution.

Baker was found later Monday on Vertex Drive carrying a towel, a white bottle filled with a blue solution and a variety of cleaning brushes. Police then arrested Baker.

Man attacked by trio, car stolen

•NORCROSS - A Flowery Branch man was attacked Monday by what he described as two men and a woman.

The victim was visiting his friends at the Indian Trail Apartments in Norcross when, according to the police report, the victim was pushed to the ground by the trio. The three then drove away in his 1997 Ford Expedition.

The victim tried to follow the suspects in another car. The suspected stolen car was last seen on Pleasant Hill Road.

- From staff reports