According to LaFayette police lead detective Stacey Meeks, the LaFayette Police and LaFayette Fire Depart-ments were called out to residences off of Steele Street and Jones Street in the Linwood area of LaFayette during the early morning hours of Friday.
Meeks said the residence of 200 S. Steele St. has been deemed an arson fire, where responders were notified of the blaze shortly after 2 a.m. Friday.
When firefighters arrived on scene, the residence was fully involved and the residence was a total loss.
Meeks contacted the State Fire Marshal’s office and after investigations around noon Friday were conducted, the fire was determined to be arson.
Meeks said the arsonist is believed to have used some form of accelerant to start the fire.
The residence was occupied, but the city of LaFayette had cut off the power to the residence sometime prior to the fire.
All the possessions of the victim were lost in the fire, Meeks said.
The accidental fire was located at the residence of 2 Jones Street in the Linwood area in LaFayette and was a total loss fire as well, with all the victims’ possessions lost in the fire.
Meeks said a kerosene heater that was placed next to a doorway that had a blanket being used as a door caused the fire and the owners of the house had left the residence due to an emergency and had left the kerosene heater running.
Responders were alerted of the fire shortly after 5 a.m. Friday.
No injuries were reported due to the two fires.
Assistance to the victims
According to Meeks, the American Red Cross of Dalton was contacted by the LaFayette Police Department to aid the victims in the fire to provide clothing, food and other essential items for the victims who lost all of their possessions in the fires.
Rewards and real leads to convictions
Meeks said the State Fire Marshal’s Office offers a reward up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist for structure fires.
Anyone with information regarding the arson is asked to contact either LaFayette police lead detective Stacey Meeks, or LaFayette police lead investigator Darin Kelley at the LaFayette Police Department.
“It is very easy to prove something is an arson, but it is very difficult to get enough evidence to convict someone of arson,” Meeks said. “It is relatively simple to determine the point of origin of a fire, or if accelerants were used. But the difficulty lies in effectively prosecuting the case.”