On Friday, May 15 at 6:40 p.m. first responders from the Charlton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and Charlton Fire and Rescue (CCFR) were sent to People’s Baptist Church, located at 65 Reynolds Road in Folkston, in reference to a fire. Responders found a burning wreath on the door of the building.
Captain Kenny Lee of Charlton Fire and Rescue asked that dispatch contact the State Fire Marshal’s office. Following an investigation, it was determined the fire was intentionally set and has been ruled as arson. The church was not occupied at the time and only minimal damage was done.
“However, this should not take away from the fact that the arsonist behind it committed a very serious crime,” said Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King.
Commissioner King’s Fire Investigations Unit is working with the CCSO and CCFR on this case.
“We are thankful that no one was injured, and the quick thinking of a concerned citizen prevented the fire from spreading and destroying the church,” said Chief Deputy Clay Burnsed, “but arson is a serious crime that could lead to tremendous loss of life and property. If anyone knows anything about this, please let us know.”
The church is home to members and lead by Pastor Nathan Irre.
“If that boy hadn’t stopped to pull off those wreaths and the girls with their bottles of water, our church would have burned down,” said church member Betty McCall. “I just think they deserve a big thank you!”
If you have any information on the responsible individual(s), call the Fire Investigations Unit at 1 (800) 282-5804.