Arson charges filed in Byron Road house fire
Salem Fire Department responded to a house fire on Byron Road in Salem on Monday (May 18) morning.
Salem Fire Chief Sam Rossitto said when the department responded within six minutes, the home was fully engulfed in flames. Though they received reports the home was vacant, firefighters entered the home and couldn’t find anything. “We hate to see [a complete loss], but it makes me feel good that no one got hurt,” he said. “Our 11 departments in Fulton County take it to heart, and never want to lose. We take it personal.”
In this case, it’s almost as if the battle was lost before they began fighting. On Tuesday, May 19, an arrest for arson, a class A felony, was made by Salem Police Chief Shad Overman.
Donald Lee Mefford, Jr., 30, of Salem, was arrested by the Salem Police Department. According to court documents, after being called on scene to the fire, Chief Overman noticed a white male subject acting suspiciously. After speaking with neighbors who reported to see Mefford enter the home and take items on numerous occasions, Overman asked Mefford to go to the police station, where he was interviewed.
Mefford admitted to starting the fire, saying “he lit a cloth with a cigarette lighter and placed it inside a dresser inside the residence.” Mefford called 911 after approximately 10 minutes, when he knew the fire had spread.
The house was unoccupied.
Mefford’s bond was set at $5,000.