32 YEAR OLD MARVIN CHASE IS THE MAN LAFAYETTE POLICE SAY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR UP TO 90-PERCENT OF THE 30 ARSON CASES IN THE CITY, OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
   

CHASE IS A VOLUNTEER FIREMAN FOR LAFAYETTE… AND IS ALSO EMPLOYED BY THE CITY’S WASTE WATER AND SEWER DEPARTMENT.
   

LAFAYETTE PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR TOMMY FREEMAN SAID AT A WEDNESDAY NEWS CONFERENCE THAT CHASE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF ARSON… BUT MORE WILL FOLLOW.  HE ADDED THAT INFORMATION THAT DETECTIVES HAD GATHERED AT THE SCENE OF THE ARSONS MATCHED PERFECTLY WITH INFORMATION PROVIDED BY CHASE IN THEIR INTERVIEW… AS HE ADMITTED TO SETTING MOST OF THE FIRES BEING INVESTIGATED. 
   

THE MOTIVE ?   DETECTIVE STACEY MEEKS WITH LAFAYETTE P.D. SAID CHASE LIKES TO FIGHT FIRES… AND HE RESPONDED AS A FIRE FIGHTER TO MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE FIRES HE SET.   PLUS, AS A VOLUNTEER, HE GOT PAID FOR EACH FIRE CALL HE RESPONDED TO.
   

FOR YEARS, THE FIRES SET IN ABANDONED HOUSES WERE LIMITED TO THE OLD LINWOOD MILL-VILLAGE… BUT MORE RECENTLY, THE FIRES WERE SET IN OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS.   CHIEF FREEMAN SAID IT WAS A CITIZEN TIP, RECEIVED 4 TO 5 MONTHS AGO… THAT LED TO CHASE BEING NAMED AS A SUSPECT.   INVESTIGATORS HAVE BEEN WORKING DURING THAT TIME, FOLLOWING-UP ON THE LEAD PROVIDED BY THE TIPSTER.
   

ALAN SHUMAN WITH THE STATE FIRE MARSHALS OFFICE SAID THAT IT’S NOT THAT UNUSUAL FOR A VOLUNTEER FIREMAN TO SET FIRES… SHUMAN SAID THERE ARE 25 TO 30 SUCH CASES KNOWN IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA ALONE.   "SERIAL ARSONISTS NEVER GIVE UP… THEY WILL ALWAYS SET FIRES", HE SAID.
   

CHASE, IF CONVICTED… WOULD FACE FROM 1 TO 20 YEARS PER COUNT OF ARSON… AND FREEMAN ESTIMATED THERE WILL BE AROUND 20 COUNTS IN TOTAL.
   

 DETECTIVE MEEKS – LEAD INVESTIGATOR ON THE CASE… SAID TO HAVE A VOLUNTEER FIREMAN INVOLVED IN ARSON GIVES THE CITY A "BLACK EYE… ESPECIALLY OUR DEDICATED FIRE-FIGHTERS".