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Small Snellville fires ruled arson

SNELLVILLE -- Gwinnett County fire investigators are calling several small fires in the Centerville North subdivision acts of arson.

The fires, set on Newcastle Way, involved mainly ground cover materials such as grass and leaves, according to Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

Rutledge said that the first fire occurred on Jan. 19 and that investigators believe the same person or people is responsible.

"We obviously want to capture the individual or individuals responsible before they become more aggressive or set fire to an occupied structure," Rutledge said.

To this point, Rutledge said, the only damage has been to grassy areas, a private fence and "minor cosmetic damage" to an outbuilding.

Officials said there is no need for alarm, but urge area residents to be alert to their surroundings and report any suspicious vehicles, persons or activities to the authorities.

Investigators are asking anyone with information on the recent fires to call the Gwinnett Fire Arson and Explosives section at 678-518-4890 or the Georgia Arson Hotline at 800-282-5804. Georgia Arson Control Inc. offers a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of responsible parties.