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Man arrested, shocked in arson case

ALBANY, Ga. — An Albany man was taken for psychological evaluation at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for allegedly setting his furniture on fire.

According to Allen Cravey, assistant chief of the Albany Fire Department, when firefighters responded to a reported trash fire on Hilltop Drive at 6:48 p.m. Monday, they encountered more than they expected. The smoldering fire was located on a balcony at 2520 Hilltop, Apt. 8, and as firefighters prepared to deal with the issue, a man suddenly appeared from the rear of the building. When he was asked if he had called the fire department, he began acting and speaking strangely, Cravey said.

"It sounded a lot like he was speaking Bible scriptures," Cravey said. "That's when we called the police."

While waiting for the Albany Police Department, firefighters extinguished the fire, Cravey said, the source of which was an upholstered chair. According to the report, some of the siding of the apartment building was removed as a precaution.

Officials of the APD said that when they tried to take Jeremiah Spence, the resident of the apartment, into custody, he was combative. According to Phyllis Banks, spokeswoman for the APD, after he failed to comply with several commands, Spence, 32, was shocked with a Taser and transported to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for evaluation.

Banks said fire officials later determined that the fire had been intentional.