"Vengeance or Money" Arson Motive

January 27, 2017

Chief Investigator Don Hicks (right) of the Dade County Sheriff's Department isn't releasing a lot of information on the three simultaneous fires that destroyed three residences on Sand Mountain on Monday, and says he won't until an arrest is made. But he graciously updated The Planet on Thursday with what he could.

"We're chasing  leads," he said. "Three in a row naturally looks like vandalism, mischief, something like that. I'm questioning all three of the fires."

Hicks said that the three burned residences were about 10 minutes apart each from the other and were owned by separate people. One was a single-wide trailer, said Hicks, another a double wide and the third a house. "They were all insured by State Farm," he said. "That was just a coincidence there."

Hicks said one of his detectives had been investigating the fires all day Thursday, and so had State Farm investigators and one from the Georgia State Fire Marshal's office. 

He said the Fire Marshal's initial investigation was complete but that he wouldn't receive a report for two or three weeks. 

"If it's not arson, it would surprise me," said Hicks. "Arson is always for vengeance or money. I just don't which one of those this is."

He promised that the public won't be kept in the dark for long when the sheriff's department does solve the crime.  "This is kind of a big deal," he said. "The sheriff will publicize it." 

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