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Macon's High Arson Rate | News

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Macon's High Arson Rate

When someone tossed a molotov cocktail onto a South Macon man's porch Tuesday morning, the third arson investigation in just over a week started in Macon.

Monday, firefighters put out a blaze in a vacant home at 3rd and Ash Streets.

And last week, a suspicious fire hit the Reaching Souls Cathedral, causing severe damage to that church.

That's all after a Christmas morning fire gutted a Macon woman's home.

As the statistics show, it turns out arson is far from unusual in Macon.

According to to FBI statistics from 2011, Macon has the highest arson rate among the state's large cities, with a rate almost three times higher than Atlanta, and almost four times the rate of Savannah.  Macon had around 67 arsons per 100,000 people.  Warner Robins also made the top 25, with 25 arsons per 100,000.

Macon-Bibb Fire Sgt. Ben Gleaton says in his experience, most arsons in the city are caused by "domestic issues." He says Macon's high number may be in part due to officially being more likely to report fires as arson. He says they tend to err on the side of arson in cases of suspicious fires in order to get the proper resources to investigate.

In the same neighborhood on Village Green Drive, where Christmas Say's arson happened, there are several other abandonded houses boarding up that may have also been affected by fires.  Neighbors there say they're concerned. "I want to get an alarm system," says Akeen Stephens.

 "I could go out of town, me and my family could come back, everything could be gone. They could take everything and burn the house down. That ain't cool."

You can follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/tomgeorgewmaz.


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