A fire damaged a thrift store in Cobb County.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Man goes from witness to suspect in arson at Cobb business

An apparent witness to arson was taken into custody in Cobb County in connection with the blaze at a retail store, Channel 2 Action News reported.

The owner of Boulevard Variety & Thrift Store in Mableton said he suffered a “big loss” in the fire, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Cobb police and fire personnel and an arson investigator spent hours at the scene Tuesday, the news station reported.

The so-called witness, who was not identified, told a neighbor he saw two people start the fire, the news station reported. As it turns out, the story was fabricated, police said.

Police later took the witness, who had outstanding warrants, away in handcuffs. A fire department spokeswoman said the man was wanted in connection with the fire.

A box used to jump car batteries started the blaze, the fire spokeswoman said. What caused it to ignite is under investigation.

Store owner Edwin Stafford said he plans to reopen the store.

“I’m going to try to salvage it,” he said, “because I have to make a living. We have to survive every day.”

MORE: Atlanta crime news

In other news:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.