GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for two intentionally set fires in the breezeway of an occupied apartment building, according to the Gwinnett County Fire Department.
Georgia Arson Control, Inc. is offering the reward as investigators work to determine who ignited the blazes and what the motive might be.
The fires were reported on May 16 around 9:20 p.m. at the Brentwood Down Apartments on Pleasant Hill Road near Lilburn.
According to fire Investigators, there was a strong odor of gasoline in the burned areas and a gas can was found in the stairwell by responding fire crews and police.
Samples from the charred debris from the wall material were collected and sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for further testing. One fire was doused by the overhead sprinkler system, and the other was stamped out by a police officer who was first to arrive on the scene.
“We are fortunate that these fires could be put out quickly and that no loss of life or major damage occurred,” said Gwinnett Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge.
One woman was initially trapped on her balcony and was unable to use the stairwell to escape due to the smoke and heat. The woman was assisted by police and a neighbor and was uninjured.
The fire caused minor damage to the exterior siding material in two separate areas of the breezeway on the second floor and ground level, but did not spread inside the individual apartment units.
Anyone with information about the fires is asked to please contact the Gwinnett County Fire Investigations Section at 678-518-4890 or the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804. All tips may be made anonymously. Arson is a serious felony crime and is punishable by one to 20-years imprisonment and associated fines.