Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that his personnel along with the Georgia State Fire Marshall’s Office conducted an investigation into a residential fire that occurred on 08/09/2016 at 45 Ware Road, Grantville, Ga. This investigation has resulted in an arrest being made for the offense of Arson 1st Degree and Criminal Trespass
“On August 9, 2016 around 10:55 am Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputies, Meriwether County Fire Department, EMS Units and the Coweta County Fire Department through mutual aid responded to 45 Ware Road, Grantville, Ga. in regard to an active structure fire. While our patrol units were responding to the location information was relayed that there was a white male subject wearing a black shirt, white in color pants and was carrying a backpack walking from the area. The last sighting of the subject was Bradbury Road. Additional information was gathered by our first patrol deputy on the scene. The information being that the white male observed on Bradbury Road fit the descriptive of a subject that was observed leaving the area of the fire. Our patrol units as well as Coweta County Sheriff’s deputies began checking the area to try and locate this white male. During this time information was received from a volunteer fireman that had observed a subject fitting the description at Roosevelt Hwy and Hwy 54. Shortly thereafter, our patrol supervisor was able to locate the subject of interest at a convenience store in Luthersville, Ga. The subject identified as Brett Banks, while speaking with our patrol supervisor admitted to setting the residence on fire. Based on the information that was received Banks was basically squatting at the location. Banks was reportedly residing in the abandoned dwelling of an estranged family member. Banks reportedly set the fire due to being upset over some family issues. Banks was taken into custody and transported to the Meriwether County Jail. We contacted the Georgia State Fire Marshall’s Office and they had one of their fire investigator’s respond to assist with the case investigation. Our personnel and the Georgia State Fire Investigator are working this case collaboratively. Brett Daniel Banks, W/M, 27 years of age, last address listed being Lone Oak Road, Hogansville, Ga. is being held in the Meriwether County Jail without bond for the offenses of Arson 1st Degree and Criminal Trespass. Our personnel and the Georgia State Fire Investigator are further investigating this incident and additional charges may be filed.” Sheriff Smith stated.
“I appreciated the effort put forth by my personnel and all supporting agencies in making this arrest. All of the fire departments through mutual aid did a good job in containing this fire from spreading to the surrounding woodlands. The structure was fully engulfed upon emergency personnel arriving on the scene. The State Fire Marshal’s Office and Investigators’ have been very helpful whenever we have called on them.” Sheriff Smith advised.