BUFORD, Ga. - A Buford family is anxiously searching for answers after an arsonist set fire to a few of their cars and a riding lawnmower just outside their home. The Gwinnett County Fire Department said they hope to make an arrest in the case before the fire bug strikes again somewhere else.
“It burned so hot you can look under here and see the motor is completely melted,” said Stephanie Roberts as she pointed to her daughter’s burned 1999 Jeep.
A spokesperson for the fire department said the arsonist also set fire to a 2009 Chevy Cobalt belonging to the daughter's boyfriend. Fire investigators said a riding lawnmower in the garage was also set ablaze with an accelerant in a similar to the two vehicles in the driveway.
“There’s no chance that this fire would have spread to this vehicle either through radiant heat or flame spread,” said Captain Tommy Rutledge as he pointed to a picture of the fire scene.
Roberts said she does not know of anyone who would personally want to cause damage or harm to her or her family.
“We have no idea [who did this] and that's the scary part,” said Roberts. “It's terrorizing to our family.”
Capt. Rutledge said the firebug left Robert's SUV and another car untouched. Investigators still have not been able to determine a clear motive for the crime.
Residents in the Buford neighborhood where the arsons occurred are being asked to officials to remain vigilant.
“There's nothing to say that this person wouldn't go and attempt this somewhere else unless of course there was a reason they targeted these particular vehicles and this particular home,” said Capt. Rutledge.
Hopes are a Georgia Arson Control $10,000 reward will lead to answers and an arrest.
“Until they catch us who did this and they figure out why it will drive us crazy,” said Roberts.
Roberts said she is thankful her daughter's boyfriend grabbed a hose and doused the lawnmower fire to help stop it from spreading to the house before firefighters arrived to fully extinguish it.
“We were very lucky my daughter saw it and heard it and we were able to get out of the house in time,” said Roberts.
Roberts said she is worried that if it does happen again, it might possibly end up hurting someone.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gwinnett County Fire Department.
Roberts said she set up an online account to help her daughter and her boyfriend who didn't have enough insurance in the vehicles which burned.