Former firefighter, wife charged with arson, fraud in house fire

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THOMSON --- A part-time McDuffie County firefighter and first responder and his wife were being held Wednesday on felony charges of arson and fraud stemming from a December fire at his Warren County home.

Jerry Ronald Fullwood, 23, who lives on Raborn Road in Hephzibah, was charged with first-degree fraud and first-degree arson, according to Warren County Sheriff's Department records. Investigators Michael Crosby and Dan Mealor, of the State Fire Marshal's Arson Unit, have been involved with the case since the fire.

An additional charge of giving false statements to authorities also was filed against Mr. Fullwood.

His wife, 19-year-old Elizabeth Fullwood, who came to the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center to visit her husband, also has been charged with first-degree arson and first-degree fraud, according to a jail spokeswoman.

Bond has been set at $55,000 for Mr. Fullwood and $50,000 for Mrs. Fullwood.

Mr. Fullwood was taken into custody by Deputy Joey Akers, of the Warren County Sheriff's Department, and booked into the McDuffie County jail late Tuesday. Investigator Crosby could not say whether additional arrests might be forthcoming.

Mr. Fullwood and his family had moved out of a rented home in Thomson and moved to Warren County after he purchased a new mobile home.

He is accused of setting fire to the mobile home Dec. 15.

At the time of the incident, his fellow firefighters held a series of fundraisers to help the family recover. Mr. Fullwood suffered minor injuries in the fire.

Warren County Fire/Rescue Services Chief Tommy Wolfe said Mr. Fullwood had applied to work as a volunteer with his department the day before the fire. Chief Wolfe said he was "a little suspicious of the fire from the beginning," and called in the State Fire Marshal's office to help with the investigation.

At the time of the fire, Mr. Fullwood was a full-time employee with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services. He later left that position and began working with the Grovetown Department of Public Safety.

Grovetown Capt. Gary Owens said Mr. Fullwood resigned this week. Assistant Chief Steven Sewell, of the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services, said he could make no comment about the matter, based on personnel policy.

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cherieann625
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cherieann625 07/10/08 - 07:17 am
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This is a bull[filtered word] case with

This is a bull[filtered word] case with bull[filtered word] charge. I've known and worked with Jerry for several years and he is one of the most honest, straightforward individuals you'll meet. And instead of printing just the 'incriminating' stuff, why don't they actually get Jerry's side? He and Elizabeth are both innocent, and now they and their baby are going to have to suffer for some idiots need to lay blame and look good. What kind of system splits a family up and arrests a spouse while she's trying to visit her husband, who has saved countless homes and property from damage? Oh, and as for Wolfe-bug off!

MonkeyC
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MonkeyC 07/10/08 - 08:28 am
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sounds as if cherie ann is

sounds as if cherie ann is delusional. You ask what kind of system splits a family up? Your friend and his wife are responsible. THey are scum.....................fundraisers in their honor. They deserver a very very long prison sentence.

yak11
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yak11 07/10/08 - 08:41 am
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Cherie...you are delusional,

Cherie...you are delusional, the evidence is extremely good. It is sad when someone in his position does this but it is a part of life. Sadly I have known and worked with incredibly "good" people who made bad decisions in their life. Being good does not prevent making stupid decisions when you are overloaded with life. The Deputy State Fire Marshal who made this case is one of the best.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 07/10/08 - 11:06 am
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As young people, we all make

As young people, we all make foolish mistakes, but not many of us make such irresponsible and dangerous mistakes. Fullwood crossed way over the line with his effort and took advantage of those who trusted him. The court won't be kind, nor should they. I suspect he'll get an adult spanking. Some people insist on learning the hard way.

PeaceMakerLC
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PeaceMakerLC 07/10/08 - 11:10 am
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These two are very good

These two are very good friends of mine. I agree with yak good is no excuse for stupid acts. As for MonkeyC scum???? wow i am so glad that in the land of the free you have judged poeple by what a newspaper says and not on first hand knowledge but thats where I am greatful my friend has the right to a fair and speedy trial, and is INNOCENT until proven guilty. WHat do you know about the brotherhood of FireFighting we help when no one else would, remember that. So don't " Hang" my friends before they get the chance to deffend them selves, thank god for the rights no one can take away. Jerry, Elizabeth and autumn are in our prayers.

MyTake
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MyTake 07/10/08 - 11:26 am
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Was there some reaason in his

Was there some reaason in his mind for doing this - doesn't seem to make any sense - he was injured to boot. What the ????

cherieann625
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cherieann625 07/10/08 - 12:35 pm
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Monkey C-you have NO idea of

Monkey C-you have NO idea of what happened. How can you even began to say they deserve a long sentence? Do you KNOW jerry and elizabeth? Do you KNOW the whole story? No. You are truly a piece of 'scum', as you like to say. I'd pay to see you in their position. I'm willing to bet you'd be the whiniest prisoner there is. Attack me, but leave the Fulwoods out of it you repulsive creature. And yak- you're right. good people make mistakes. But what all do YOU know about the situation? I'm not looking for a fight, but tell me-wouldn't you defend your friends if you believed they were innocent, or would you jump on the persecution bandwagon too?

old school graduate
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old school graduate 07/10/08 - 01:43 pm
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Maybe the prosecution band

Maybe the prosecution band wagon.

yak11
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yak11 07/10/08 - 01:54 pm
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Peace, I agree that this will

Peace, I agree that this will be tried in a court, with attorneys and evidence. But I also know that EVERY person in GPSTC (semi permenant resident) claims they were set up. If this were my friends I would offer the support but I am not going to damn the system because someone close to me got caught. I have had good friends and family arrested. My actions were to A. Let the Officers do their job...thats why we pay them. B. Do what I can to get good legal representation (thats what lawyers are for) and finally C. Support my friends but do not apologize for them. Cherie the State FM does not have a habit of making specious charges. But hey lets see what happens later.

aninsider
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aninsider 07/10/08 - 01:58 pm
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I was at this fire and I have

I was at this fire and I have to say that if they did it, they are very good actors. I don't know them personally but have been in emergency services for over 25 years. I thought I had seen a lot but I know that whenever you think you have seen it all, you see something new. I know the state must have a good case or they would not have arrested the Fullwoods. I am anxious to find out what really did happen.

simpletruth
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simpletruth 07/10/08 - 02:01 pm
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Yes, where is the INNOCENT

Yes, where is the INNOCENT until proven guilty. To read or hear the news, they are already guilty. What is wrong with our system? It is amazing how all of the first few comments are so quick to judge. People should know ALL the details. As for MonkeyC, scum? Does that make you feel good about yourself? And PatriciaT, so you admit this was a "mistake" not the act of a criminal. These people are parents and they should be home with their baby at this very moment!
Jerry, Elizabeth & Autumn are in my prayers.

oneconservativetoanother
5
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oneconservativetoanother 07/10/08 - 03:39 pm
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If a professional

If a professional firefigher/EMS wanted to burn down their house, don't you think they would have done a better job? Would he actually put his wife and child in danger? Were his actions stupid? YES Were they intentional? NO, agian I say NO. The State does not obtain warrants on this topic easily. Evidence can be misunderstood and manpulated to say whatever they want it to say. Please I beg, you, pray that God will reunite the child with her parents. She is the one that is the loser here. Remember, Jesus loves you and so do I.

rubberducky41
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rubberducky41 07/10/08 - 03:46 pm
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as a fellow fire fighter and

as a fellow fire fighter and and very good friend of the fullwoods i must say im not surprised of the comments of people that have no idea what is going on. how can people judge someone they don't know. there is only one person who can do that and im sure none of yall are him! you know god for bid that a fireman should have the problem of a fire. if this was one of yall you would want every body and there brother helping you. has for the whole taking up money yea thats right we did cause we live by the brotherhood system and maybe this world would be alot better if everybody even tried it. i support my friend no my "brother" and im dern proud of it!!! so yea i hope everybody that has helped put the cross hairs on this unfortunate family gets the same problems hopefully more to deal with andsee how the world helps you. and thats coming from a fellow firefighter that loves his brother

warrenoes
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warrenoes 07/10/08 - 04:34 pm
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This is a terrible

This is a terrible tragedy,,,, and I pray it all works out those involved. Along with that I would like to set the record straight the comment" Chief Wolfe said he was "a little suspicious of the fire from the beginning," and called in the State Fire Marshal's office to help with the investigation" is not true. The truth is the fact that this was a firefighter's home was the reason the Fire Marshalls Office was called to oversee the fire investigation. It would be inappropriate for us to look into one of our own..

aninsider
60
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aninsider 07/10/08 - 05:07 pm
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Thank you for setting that

Thank you for setting that straight warrenoes. It's amazing how the media can twist what one person says. I know for a fact that we have called in the fire marshall's offoce a lot over the years - just to cover our rear. They are available to us anytime and I figure if we got em we should use em. It's unfortunate that things have turned out the way they have and I am all for helping the fullwoods any way we can. I also believe innocent until proven guilty and I have seen how unjust our justice system can be in so many ways. Let the games begin!

simpletruth
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simpletruth 07/10/08 - 05:43 pm
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you said it....games. It

you said it....games. It really makes you wonder how many innocent people are in jail! Hello people, this is real life...where is your good common sense? If you really wanted to burn your home and collect insurance money what would you do? Well, first you need to own your home (for a while). IF I am wrong please correct me but this mobile home was new, meaning any insurance money would go to the mortgage company not this family. With that in mind why in the h*** would you burn your own house???? Thinks about this: Would you burn your house 10 days before Christmas? Would you do it while your family is at home so that you can immediately respond to the fire? Would you call 911? Would you Call fellow Firemen to help? Would you risk your own life to put out this fire? Would you be so determined that you would be injured? and in reference to an above comment " an excellent actor" well, if so, let's send them to Hollywood rather than jail. Come on people! I think someone is just trying to make a name !!!! I'm worried scare tactics are being used. How would you react, to see your wife arrested and to be worried about your baby?? What about this high bail? This is justice?

PeaceMakerLC
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PeaceMakerLC 07/10/08 - 05:45 pm
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Yak I am not making excuses

Yak I am not making excuses for my friends. What I am saying is Stupidity ISN'T a Felonious charge. Also I am not damning our legal system I support it and am against the "Lynchmob" style of reporting and comments poeple are leaving. If we look back in time they had people that did that and they were Hitlers Germany I would hope we have progressed past this. May the truth provail and justice be done. Remember Jerry only God can judge you now.

apocolypsenew
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apocolypsenew 07/10/08 - 06:45 pm
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Dang that boy is stupid.

Dang that boy is stupid. Take a light bulb, drill a tiny hole, fill with two onces of flammable, screw in socket, set timer, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

apoclipsenow
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apoclipsenow 07/10/08 - 08:12 pm
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simpletruth, unfortunately,

simpletruth, unfortunately, the boy did the crime, gotta do the time. should have adhered to my 6:45. If he was a firefighter, he should have known that.

mommy22girls
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mommy22girls 07/10/08 - 11:20 pm
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I do not remember this story,

I do not remember this story, fill me in on how the fire was started. Wasn't he injured? Why would you injure yourself and what reason did he need to start the fire? Was his kid in the home?

fightingfiremen
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fightingfiremen 07/10/08 - 11:27 pm
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apoclipse... first off you

apoclipse... first off you dont know anything. as a personal friend of the fullwoods i would just like to say that you are an idiot. you know absolutely nothing about what is going on or what happend. the only place you are getting your information from are these one sided news reporters that only write the bad things about somebody because they think it will sell. what you dont know is the good things about jerry and what kind of person he is. the unfortunate thing about it is that you are the type of person that makes these assumptions about people without knowing all the facts. but thats okay because everybody gets judged in the end. Jerry, Elisabeth, and Autumn are in my prayers and in my heart.

fightingfiremen
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fightingfiremen 07/10/08 - 11:44 pm
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monkeyc........ i would just

monkeyc........ i would just like to say in reference to your comment about them being scum, if somebody who risks his life to save somebody elses is scum then i would like to know what that makes you because in my oppinion you are nowhere near the person that jerry is. i hope you realize that and you think about it....... scum, who do you think you are!!!!!!!

paramedichope
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paramedichope 07/11/08 - 01:22 am
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I know Jerry pretty well. I

I know Jerry pretty well. I would like to think he didn't do it, but no one ever know what lurks in the hearts of men. I am not convicting him by any means. I am not going to presume guilt or innocence because I wasn't there. I think that we should let the justice system do its job. I still have a little faith in it. I hate that they are going through this. They are friends and the baby is awesome. I hate that this is also making firefighters all around look bad, guilty or not. I wish you well, Jerry.

simpletruth
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simpletruth 07/11/08 - 08:34 am
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apoclipsenow, I did notice

apoclipsenow, I did notice your 6:45 message. I also noticed you changed the spelling of your user name. Correct me if I am wrong, if someone did that, I would guess the house would explode and that is NOT what happened. Are you referring to an accelerator? If so, you need to know what qualifies as one. I don't know where you get your information but you need to check the source or better yet maybe you would like to share the source of such a strong statement. I'm sure you would not post a comment like that based on gossip! Look at all the information, examine it with a reasonable mind and make sure you understand.

appocoplsenow
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appocoplsenow 07/11/08 - 04:02 pm
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simple, an accelerant, and

simple, an accelerant, and yes it would explode, that was the idea.

toldya
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toldya 07/11/08 - 04:25 pm
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excuse me- anybody have a

excuse me- anybody have a light?

appocoplsenow
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appocoplsenow 07/11/08 - 05:46 pm
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By the way simple. the best

By the way simple. the best place to do this is in the garage or storeage room where accelerants are usually stored. Therefore, little provable evidence.

appocoplsenow
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appocoplsenow 07/11/08 - 05:46 pm
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Also simple, don't try this

Also simple, don't try this at home!

simpletruth
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simpletruth 07/11/08 - 06:18 pm
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appoco, (Again updating the

appoco,
(Again updating the spelling of the username)

Thanks for the tip but is sound like you are the one we should be worried about!

My point exactly!!! It would explode. I'm pretty sure this family was at home when this happened.....inside the home. You are the only person I have heard speak of this. Were you on the scene of this fire? Is this just your theory that you feel you should share? I know gasoline is an accelerant, along with perfume, hairspray, cooking oils, alcohol.....all of which is commonly found in every home. Any home that burns will show evidence of this in the kitchen, bathrooms, bedroom, gifts under your christmas tree, etc.

appocoplsenow
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appocoplsenow 07/11/08 - 08:24 pm
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But not where you keep these

But not where you keep these type things, because theywill explode too. I think you missunderstood. I said, if he were GOING TO TORCH HIS HOUSE, THIS IS WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE DONE! He could have been at the beach for 23hrs 59 and 59, sheesh! Are you sure your name is not simpleton?

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