Thursday November 26th, 2015 12:08AM

Forsyth Co. officials to pursue charges in New Year's Eve vandalism

By Staff
CUMMING - No one was hurt, but Forsyth County fire officials are saying the scenario could have easily been different after someone set fire to wreaths on the front doors of some homes in a Cumming neighborhood.

The vandal(s) set fire to the decorations on New Year's Eve, according to Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers.

Shivers said firefighters were dispatched to a home in the Bridgewood neighborhood around 3 a.m. and found a decorative, natural wreath had been set on fire.

"When the wreath burned it did a tremendous amount of damage to the front door of the home and also did melting damage to the soffit of the front porch overhang that was above the door," said Shivers. "The family definitely could have been trapped," he said. "They were fortunate in such that smoke made it in to the home and set off a smoke detector."

Shivers said later, two more incidents similar in nature but less damaging were reported to the fire department by the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. Shivers said after investigation, all three incidents were determined to be intentional.

A series of mailbox vandalism in the neighborhood is believed to be linked as well. "About two dozen mailboxes had been ripped from the ground and vandalized," said Shivers. "We found it likely that all the incidents were related and we were working those two cases together."

Previous reports indicate a teen had confessed to his involvement and has offered an apology to homeowners. While the 17-year-old has told authorities he was not the one who set the fires, he has admitted he was with the group that committed the offenses.

In addition, the teen has admitted he took part in uprooting the mailboxes. However, Shivers said they have no one in custody for the arson and no knowledge of any admission of guilt. He said the department was following leads in the arson incidents and plans to pursue charges.

"It's not a prank, it's not funny, it's not a simple childhood mistake, this is arson and it's a serious crime," said Shivers.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
The big getaway: Thanksgiving travelers hit the road and pack airports, despite terror fears
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The big Thanksgiving getaway went into full swing Wednesday with drivers delighted by the lowest November gas prices in years and many airline passengers undaunted by terrorism fear...
7:10PM ( 4 hours ago )
Traffic slowed Wed. afternoon by overturned dump truck on Candler Hwy.
Traffic was slowed on Candler Highway in Gainesville Wednesday afternoon because of an overturned dump truck near Cottrell Trailers.
3:39PM ( 8 hours ago )
Gainesville officials say 2,600 gallons of sludge accidentally pumped into Flat Creek
City officials said an estimated 2,600 gallons of sludge was accidentally pumped into Flat Creek Tuesday evening.
2:31PM ( 9 hours ago )
Man faces charges in Hall subdivision home invasion
A 20-year-old Gainesville man faces charges in an early September home invasion in Hall County.
12:12PM ( 11 hours ago )