Arson suspected in house fires

Richmond County authorities are investigating after they say an Augusta home was set on fire on two separate occasions Friday.

About 7:20 a.m., Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 800 block of Eve Street, where they met with the home’s residents, according to an incident report.

Just before deputies’ arrival, a passerby had spotted a fire on the home’s side porch and alerted the residents. The fire started on the right corner of the porch in what police described as a plastic plant in a wicker basket.

According to the report, one of the residents, Marcus Carter, doused the flames with a pot of water. Police say the scene had the scent of some type of fire accelerant.

Another resident, China Johnson, told deputies that a separate fire was discovered about 12:30 a.m. on the back side of the home near her bedroom window.

She told police she saw sparks and smoke coming from a wall outlet in her room, and later saw smoke and fire.

She grabbed a jug of water and extinguished the flames. Police said the scene also had the odor of an accelerant.

Lt. Neal Brown, of the Augusta Fire Department, was called to the scene to investigate. He told police that the fires showed evidence of arson.

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