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Monroe County bar fire ruled arson, motive unknown

Investigators say surveillance footage shows the co-owner leaving the building with smoke pouring out

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — Monroe County investigators say the fire that destroyed a High Falls bar last week was arson.

13WMAZ reported about the fire last Tuesday at the Backwoods Bar and Grill on High Falls Road.

ORIGINAL STORY: 'Everybody's hearts just sank:' Monroe County man dies by suicide after suspicious bar fire

According to Anna Lewis with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office says they've studied surveillance video from another business that shows co-owner Gary Lawrence taking out the trash, leaving the building with smoke pouring out, and driving away.

Authorities say Lawrence killed himself at his ex-wife's house in Macon about two hours later.

Lewis says they're still not sure how Lawrence set the fire, but because he is dead, she said they may never know his motive for setting the fire.

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