0

Arson suspect arrested Thursday

A Conley man suspected in the arson of his parents' house was picked up Thursday on fugitive warrants unrelated to the fire.

Clayton County sheriff's Lt. Brian Crisp said Leroy Forts, Jr., 41, was arrested at his parents' Hapeville home by uniformed officers and members of the Fugitive Unit. It is the same home damaged in a suspicious fire in September.

Forts is under investigation for the fire but has not been charged in that case.

The outstanding warrants stem from a May 5 incident, said Crisp. Police allege Forts drove a Ford Explorer into an Ellenwood trailer occupied by the mother of his child. He is charged with aggravated assault and criminal damage to property.

In the suspected arson case, the Hapeville fire was reported Sept. 13 about 3:30 a.m. Fire Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke said the house was engulfed in flames and smoke when firefighters arrived. The couple living there told firefighters they feared their son was inside the burning home.

";Firefighters diligently searched the burning structure but were unable to locate the missing family member inside,"; said Feilke.

A firefighter was hurt when heavy debris from the ceiling fell on his head. He was treated and released from Southern Regional Medical Center.

-- Kathy Jefcoats