According to LaFayette police and fire departments:
The call came into dispatch around 12:56 a.m., Thursday, June 30. Witnesses reported seeing two vehicles in the area shortly before the blaze at around 12:30 a.m.
The two vehicles were not easily identifiable, but one witness said a man dressed in all-black clothing was dropped off by one of the unknown vehicles around the time of the fire.
Authorities said the vacant residence, which was destroyed, was engulfed in flames, particularly at the south-east side corner of the residence, when firefighters arrived.
Several witnesses reported hearing a “loud noise like a gunshot, then saw the fire.”
State fire marshal Jerry Parrish was notified of the arson and will be on scene this evening to continue investi-gating.
This is the first reported arson fire in Linwood since the arrest of former volunteer firefighter Marvin Chase, who admitted to starting an arson fire in the area late last year, LaFayette Police detective Darin Kelley said.
Chase, arrested in December and believed to have set at least 20 fires in the past five years, is out of jail on $10,000 bond. He is awaiting trial. He has been charged with one count of first-degree arson and is facing 20 possi-ble counts, pending the outcome of the investigation, police said.
LaFayette police detective Stacey Meeks is heading up the investigation into the Steel Street arson fire.
Anyone with any information on the fire is encouraged to call the LaFayette Police Department at 706-639-1540.