Update: Broad Street building fire being investigated as arson

UPDATE: News 12 at 6 o'clock/ Jan. 8, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Investigators are looking into the Broad Street fire on Jan. 3 as a case of possible arson.

Investigators said it looks like it started inside an apartment on the third floor, an apartment that Trever Bellew used to call home.

Bellew stayed with a friend the night before the fire, and he woke up to a phone call, asking if he was okay.

"He was like, I'm glad you're ok, but your house is burning down. And I was like what? This is a joke right?" Bellew said.

He lost everything he owned in the blaze, and he didn't have renter's insurance. But, he says he isn't worried about the replaceable items.

"TV, clothes, I can replace, but those personal memories, I can never get those back," he said.

Now that reality has set in, the possibility of arson hits Bellew in the gut.

"I can't comprehend why someone would want to do that. Especially knowing that, not only is there businesses down below, but there were 4 or 5 people that lived in that building," Bellew said.

When News 12 told him investigators believe the fire started on the floor, just inside the door of his apartment, he was shocked.

As he begins to connect the dots, it makes for a gruesome picture.

"If it is arson and somebody really did that, then they were trying to kill me basically. That's the idea that I get," he says.

Even more chilling to him now, recent vandalism to his car.

"It was the only one in the parking lot that was targeted. My back windshield was completely busted out. It wasn't an accident, it was on purpose," he said.

He's hoping investigators are mistaken, and the fire ends up being an accident, but for now, life has changed.

"Once this whole issue is resolved, and they figure out who did it, I think I might get out of here, explore the country," he said.

As of now, investigators have no suspects. They're waiting for evidence to get back from the GBI crime lab.

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) - Officials are investigating last week's fire on Broad Street as arson, according to an incident report.

Lt. Carlton Bradley said there are currently no suspects.

The fire burned apartment buildings and businesses on Friday.

Fire investigators are investigating to see if arson was the cause of the fire that destroyed the building. Officials say the point of origin was in an apartment located on the third floor of the building.

The owner of the building says the apartment was leased.

Fire broke out Friday morning. It took firefighters hours to put out. One person was rescued from the building and taken to the hospital. That person has since been released.

The building's owner plans to prosecute.


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