Authorities arrest person of interest after Alma Merle Norman burns down

Authorities arrest person of interest after Alma Merle Norman burns down
James Lee Harrison (Source: Alma Police Department)

ALMA, GA (WTOC) - UPDATE: Officers with the Alma Police Department have taken James Lee Harrison into custody on Sunday. He was arrested on outstanding probation warrants and also charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance. The State of Georgia Fire Marshal's Office has charged Harrison has also charged Harrison with arson after an interview.

A person of interest has been identified after the Merle Norman on S. Dixon Street in Alma burned down early Friday morning.

The Alma Police Department and the Alma-Bacon Fire Department responded to the structure fire just after 3:30 a.m. Firefighters found the building fully-engulfed but they were able to quickly extinguish the fire. Unfortunately, it appears to have caused a total loss. Alma-Bacon firefighters and the State of Georgia Fire Marshal's Office have determined the blaze was the result of arson.

Police and the fire marshal's office are looking for 41-year-old James Lee Harrison. Harrison is described as a black male standing 5'11 and weighing around 160 pounds. Anyone knowing his whereabouts is asked to call the Alma PD at 912.632.8751, or your local law enforcement agency if outside Alma.

Harrison is wanted on outstanding probation warrants for a 2017 investigation when police arrested him for possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana following a search warrant at a local residence in Feb. 2017.

The Fire Marshal's Office is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information which leads to the conviction of the person responsible for this crime.

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