Sheriff: Man arrested for starting fire that killed 24 horses

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a stable fire that killed 24 horses in Clayton County. 

The fire, which happened on April 4 on the 1800 block of Noah's Ark Road in Clayton County, destroyed a two-story stable on the property. Only one horse was able to escape with injuries. The rest of the horses inside died in the fire. Officials were able to stop the blaze from spreading through the woods but were unable to save the stable.

Fire investigators say that they received a tip that 23-year-old Jonathan Espinoza-Vasquez was the one that started the fire "in alleged retaliation toward the owner of the property."

After a background check, investigators say they discovered Espinoza-Vasquez had a warrant out for failing to appear in court, located him and took him into custody.

During questioning, officials say that Espinoza-Vasquez kept making conflicting statements about when he visited the farm last. After checking his cell phone, they discovered he was less than a mile away the night the stable was set on fire.

Espinoza-Vasquez has now been charged with first-degree arson and aggravated cruelty to animals. He is being held at the Henry County Jail until his trial date.