2 arrested in Rome arson investigation

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The Floyd County Fire Marshall said a former homeowner and his associate allegedly set a mansion on fire.

Flames lit up the Rome skies in the early morning hours of February 10 at the house on Craton Road.

The Rome-Floyd County Fire Marshal said former homeowner Stanley Edward Stephens and his associate, Donald Luallen, allegedly used an accelerant and started several small fires in an attempt to destroy the $500,000 home.

"These subjects are currently charged with arson in the first degree for burning the residential structure which was owned by Regents Bank, after a foreclosure.," Floyd County Fire Marshal Mary Catherine Chewning revealed during a Thursday news conference.

Chewning said the exhaustive investigation involved more than 300 hours of federal, state, and local authorities. It took her team to Florida, Alabama, and Georgia to build this case and make these arrests.

"We guesstimate approximately $2.5 million are involved in this case. This is one of the largest arson cases I am aware of in Floyd County at this time,” she said.

Chewning said suspect Luallen was arrested Monday afternoon in Oxford, Alabama and former homeowner Stephens was arrested Tuesday night near Daytona Beach, Florida.

"This investigation is still ongoing and more charges are pending," Chewning concluded.

Both men will be extradited back to Floyd County soon.