Two men have been arrested in connection with an arson.

On January 25, investigators with the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office arrested Raymond Garcia, 27, of Toccoa, and Weston Kirkland, 21, of Toccoa. Both men face two counts of Arson in the First Degree.

On December 26, the State’s Fire Investigations Unit was called to assist with a fire that occurred at an abandoned storage building located at 500 West Currahee Street in Toccoa. On January 22, during an investigation into the fire on West Currahee Street, it was found that someone had also tried to set the porch of 759 West Doyle Street on fire around the same time as the Currahee Street fire. This fire went unnoticed until January 22.

Through tips and other investigative techniques, both 500 West Currahee Street and 759 West Doyle Street were found to have been set on fire by the same offenders.

Arrest warrants were then taken out on Garcia and Kirkland and they were taken Stephens County Detention Center. Kirkland has since bonded out, but Garcia remains in custody with a $40,000 bond.

“This has been a very complex and thorough investigation by all parties involved,” said Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “This goes to show that when citizens step up and report vital information, it allows law enforcement officials to effectively and efficiently complete these important investigations.”

Investigators with the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office assisted the City of Toccoa Fire Department and the City of Toccoa Police Department with this investigation. First Degree Arson is a felony punishable by a fine of no more than $50,000 or by a prison term between one and twenty years, or both.

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