Wayne Barrow and his family have lived in Canoochee Properties for 27 years. He likes living near the river and in the country. But he's less thrilled at living "away from town" lately with a series of suspicious fires in mobile homes, campers, a shed and an abandoned car.
"It's worrisome when you think about going out of town or even leaving your house for a little while," Barrow said. "These fires have been in empty houses. What happens if they start setting fire to houses where people are living?"
Claxton fire chief Harold Rogers spent Monday afternoon hanging reward posters on trees and utility poles. The Georgia Fire Marshal's office is offering $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Someone set fire to an empty house Sept. 2. Rogers said they have not been able to track down the owner yet to notify them of the loss. In May, a similar fire burned a house. The next day, fire crews returned to check the ashes and discovered a burned shed 100 yards away. Every fire so far has been in the dense woods where it could spread through the brush to every house in the community. Rogers said there is a danger to firefighters, whether or not there are occupants in the house.
"They may think they're not endangering someone, but we've got to get here and fight this just the same," Rogers explained.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Claxton Fire Department at 912.739.1712 or the Georgia Arson Hotline at 1.800.282.5804.