The Investigation Continues in Oak Forest Arson Case - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/04/07

The Investigation Continues in Oak Forest Arson Case

Fire broke out in apartments on Oak Forest Drive Tuesday night. Fire broke out in apartments on Oak Forest Drive Tuesday night.
Witnesses say they saw a Molotov cocktail thrown through an apartment window. Witnesses say they saw a Molotov cocktail thrown through an apartment window.

Four families are without homes tonight after authorities say someone set their apartment complex on fire. It happened 7pm Tuesday night on Oak Forest Drive near Laroche Avenue in Chatham County, just outside Savannah city limits.

Fire investigators were back on the scene today, trying to determine exactly what happened. Witnesses told police they saw a beige car with four females inside throw what looked like a Molotov cocktail inside the top floor apartment. Moments later, the complex was on fire.

Resident Donald McMillan says everything was fine when he left the apartments Tuesday night, but when he came back five minutes later, "I saw flames coming out the windows upstairs" he said. Donald lives in one of the bottom floor apartments with his wife Charlene. They've lived there five years.

Savannah-Chatham police say this was no accident--it was arson. Just after 7pm, people who live in the complex heard glass shatter and saw smoke as a vehicle sped away.

Everyone escaped safely, including Donald's wife and three other families. In all, nine adults and five children lost their homes.

Ron Pentaude owns the apartment building two doors down. He says crime and violence hasn't been a problem here and suspects this was an isolated incident. "No one was hurt fortunately. I'm not worried about it," he said.

But residents affected by the crime have a lot of questions for police who are still searching for the arsonists.

The American Red Cross has helped find hotels for the victims of this fire. Meanwhile, police are still trying to identify the people in the tan car seen speeding away from the scene.

If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers at 234-2020.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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