Arson suspect is former Southside volunteer firefighter - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Arson suspect is former volunteer firefighter

Assistant Chief Hugh Futrell Assistant Chief Hugh Futrell
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

WTOC has learned that man arrested on arson charges in Effingham County last month is a former volunteer firefighter himself with a history of arson arrests. 

Mathew Collet, 33, was a volunteer firefighter at the Southside Fire Dept. 15 years ago.  Assistant Chief Hugh Futrell said that back they noticed some suspicious activity.

"We ran our standard background checks and checked him out before he started volunteering," Futrell said. "He volunteered for about a year ... then we started noticing some suspicious fires that were starting to occur."

Futrell said the department took immediate action.

"We called in some investigators. We called in the authorities. It turned out, sure enough he was the one at the time starting them," he said. Because of this, the Southside Fire Dept. fired Collett.

In 1998, Matthew Collett was arrested and charged with 16 arson-related charges, but was never convicted of any of those charges.

Now, Collett stands accused of setting the Sandhill fire, facing charges of first degree arson and burglary.

Collett's bond is set at $28,000.

If he makes bond, he'll have to stay at Morris Village Alcohol Drug Treatment Center in Columbia, South Carolina.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

  • NewsNewsMore>>

  • WTOC travels to St. Croix to deliver relief supplies with the 165th Airlift Wing

    WTOC travels to St. Croix to deliver relief supplies with the 165th Airlift Wing

    Monday, September 25 2017 9:59 PM EDT2017-09-26 01:59:36 GMT
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)

    Right now, the Savannah Air National Guard base is serving as the main hub and staging area for disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Maria, delivering supplies to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 

    More >>

    Right now, the Savannah Air National Guard base is serving as the main hub and staging area for disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Maria, delivering supplies to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 

    More >>
  • FBI releases 2016 Crime Report; comparing Savannah vs. Atlanta

    FBI releases 2016 Crime Report; comparing Savannah vs. Atlanta

    Monday, September 25 2017 9:32 PM EDT2017-09-26 01:32:45 GMT
    (Source: ucr.fbi.gov)(Source: ucr.fbi.gov)

    New FBI data released in the 'Crime in the United States' annual report shows a decrease in overall crime and an increase in violent crime. 

    More >>

    New FBI data released in the 'Crime in the United States' annual report shows a decrease in overall crime and an increase in violent crime. 

    More >>
  • Council votes to open limited red snapper season

    Council votes to open limited red snapper season

    Monday, September 25 2017 9:07 PM EDT2017-09-26 01:07:41 GMT
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)

    After years of an almost complete moratorium, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted 12 to 1 Monday to open a limited 2017 red snapper fishing season in the South Atlantic. If approved by NOAA Fisheries, the season will likely begin in mid-to late October.

    More >>

    After years of an almost complete moratorium, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted 12 to 1 Monday to open a limited 2017 red snapper fishing season in the South Atlantic. If approved by NOAA Fisheries, the season will likely begin in mid-to late October.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly