2008-12-03 / Sports

Wade and Millhaven

Arson suspected in plantation fires
By Elizabeth Billips lizbillips@yahoo.com

An arsonist is believed to be behind three structure fires on two plantations that stretch over the Burke County line.

According to Burke County EMA Fire Chief Rusty Sanders, a house and hunting lodge on Wade Plantation went up in flames around 1:40 a.m. last Wednesday.

By the time a passing motorist alerted firefighters, both buildings had nearly burned to the ground.

"There's a good potential for arson," Chief Sanders said, noting the structures were about a mile apart. "We're looking at multiple fires that all started during a relatively short period of time."

While Burke County firefighters tried to put out the Wade Plantation blazes, Screven County firefighters were fighting a fire at a historic train depot on the nearby Millhaven Plantation.

That, too, was extensively damaged.

A state fire marshal is expected to inspect all three sites this week.

The two plantations are located in both Screven and Burke counties and are owned by companies affiliated with William S. Morris III, CEO of newspaper giant Morris Communications.

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