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Reward offered for Lee County arson information

LEESBURG, Ga. — A reward of up to $10,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in a residential arson in Lee County last Saturday, according to state and county officials.

When Lee County firefighters responded to an early morning fire at 108 Berkely Drive, they discovered that the home had been broken into and items taken, Lee County Fire Department Inspector Matthew Pearce said. According to Pearce, when smoke and flames were subdued and the premises inspected, the case was ruled an arson. Officials say the investigation is now a joint project of the Lee County Fire Department, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Fire Marshal’s Office.

Georgia Fire Marshal’s Office Investigator James Atkins said neighbors and witnesses are still being interviewed, and there are two persons of interest being questioned in the case.

“Right now, it’s a hit-or-miss situation,” Pearce said. “We have some decent leads and tips but nothing really solid. Somebody out there knows something.”

Pearce asked anyone with information about any arson case to call 1-800-282-5802 or go to www.georgiaarsoncontrol.com. According to Pearce, those who provide tips can remain anonymous and still be eligible for applicable rewards.

Officials say the Lee County home was heavily damaged by smoke and fire but is not beyond repair. According to Pearce, the arson investigation has been completed and owners Dean and Deborah Lewis have been cleared to return to their home.