Ex-employee sentenced to five years for arson at historic Savannah restaurant

Crime & Safety

Chase Anthony Davis, 30

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah man was sentenced to five years in federal prison for setting fires in a historic Savannah restaurant.

Chase Anthony Davis, 31, of Savannah, was sentenced to 60 months and will be required to serve a period of supervised release after completion of his prison term.

Davis was convicted in October on an arson charge after a three day trial. Evidence presented during the trial showed that on May 8, Davis, then an employee of the Gryphon Tea Room, broke into the restaurant at 337 Bull Street and set six fires inside. The fires were set in dining areas owned by SCAD and self extinguished.

The damage caused by the fires has since been restored.

The Gryphon Tea Room shares space with The Arts Cafe and The Scottish Rite Temple. It is also closely connected with multiple historic residential structural and St. John’s Episcopal Church and is housed in an adapted early 20th century apothecary constructed between 1913 and 1926.

“This bungled arson could have caused tremendous physical and cultural damage to historic structures in Savannah,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Fortunately the tablecloths were fire-retardant, and the Savannah Fire Department quickly took care of the rest and kept any damage to a minimum. And now the arsonist will have considerable time behind bars to ponder his felonious folly.”

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