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Baldwin County man receives reward for helping fire recue team

A Baldwin County man who wished to remain anonymous got a monetary reward for helping arrest and convict a man responsible for arson.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — In August 2021, Baldwin County Fire Rescue Station 1 was dispatched to fire on Irwinton Road. When they arrived on the scene, the house was almost gone and the two people living in the house were outside. 

However, it was a witness who helped them determine who was responsible for the house fire.

A man, who wished to remain anonymous, told Baldwin County Fire Rescue captain Bradley Towe he saw the person who did it.

"He told me how the fire started, he watched him do everything from beginning to end and actually the person that did it, actually lived in that house," Towe said.

Towe says the person who started the fire, Matthew Spikes, was arrested and convicted of arson in the first degree. He says arson is a hard crime to prove.

"When somebody comes forward as an eye witness, meaning they watched everything that direct evidence just makes all the difference in the world. I mean a confession works sometimes in an arson case but having somebody else actually see it, that just makes everything run so much smoother," Towe said.

Because of how helpful the witness was, the Baldwin County Fire Rescue nominated him to receive up a $10,000 reward through the Georgia Arson Control rewards program. 

Consultant Ken LeCroy says anyone can be nominated, and they don't have to be from Georgia, but the incident has has to take place in Georgia.

LeCroy says their involvement determines how much the arson control board gives them.

"Then I get the privilege of coming back out and delivering the money, shaking hands and sharing smiles," LeCroy said.

The witness received a $3,250 check for his involvement. Towe says the man didn't know he was getting the monetary reward. 

The witness told 13WMAZ he wanted to help them since he saw it happen. 


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