BANKS COUNTY, Ga. - The Banks County Fire Department is looking for a serial arsonist. Three abandoned homes have gone up in flames in just two weeks. A $10,000 reward is being offered which leads to arrests.
"Very unusual for us to see this type of arson-related incidents in a rural community so that concerns us for the citizens," said Chief Steve Nichols, Banks County Fire Department.
Chief Nichols said the first blaze occurred March 8 with the second just two days later. The most recent on the March 16. He said he believes the first and third fire are related. The second that occurred at a home on Highway 144 doesn't have the same pattern. In all the cases, the homes have been unoccupied.
"But in this case, they don't know nobody is living there even though there may not have been occupants in or it or may not see furniture in there. If someone is living in the structure, they set fire and someone dies that first-degree arson. They can spend a long time in jail, ruin their lives. They've ruined their lives either way," said Chief Nichols.
The fire department knows someone out there knows something and hopes they will call the tip line
"Trying to get some type of leads, anything anybody wants to come forward with and tell us that pushes us in the right direction so we can incarcerate somebody, there's a huge reward waiting on them out there," the chief said.
The fire department is putting up signs offering that reward but someone is removing the signs. They want to make clear to people who are doing that, they not only could be fined for removing the signs, but you could also face jail time.