Two men have been arrested in connection with about a half a dozen fires deliberately started early Monday in Johnson County, sheriff’s officials announced Thursday.
Marshall Cole Ghilespi (left), 20, and Nathan Gerald Schwartz, 19, were identified as suspects in the arsons with the help of witnesses who saw the two men in the area on the night of the fires and others who came forward after hearing a description of the men and their white Ford F-150, according to a press release issued by the department Thursday.
The fires, set on vacant property in the area of CR 915 and CR 913-A between Joshua and Godley, were less than one mile apart and were extinguished by Godley and Cresson fire departments.
According to witnesses, one of the men appeared to be wearing firefighter bunker gear on the night of the fires. Upon his arrest, one of the men was wearing clothing that matched that seen by the witnesses, the press release states.
“They were not firefighters,” said Lt. Tim Jones with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. “We’re not sure where they got the bunker gear but it was old, junky stuff.”
The men were booked into the Johnson County Jail with bail set at $25,000 for each.
“Sheriff (Bob) Alford and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office thanks all who came forth with information on these incidents bringing a quick closer to what could have become a very dangerous situation had the suspects not been arrested,” the press release states.
- Deanna Boyd