SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A 19-year-old man has admitted to intentionally setting fire to the City of Savannah Code Compliance building back in May.
According to Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine, Stephen Setter, of Savannah, has pleaded guilty to one count of arson.
Setter faces five to 20 years in prison, with substantial financial penalties. He will remain in custody until sentencing at a later date.
“We are pleased with the positive result of the joint investigation between Savannah Fire and the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives),” said Savannah Fire Department Chief Fire Investigator Fred Anderson. “It is good to know that this individual is no longer on the streets.”
The fire was set at the office at 1700 Drayton St. shortly after 3 a.m. on May 3 and quickly spread into the attic and roof of the building.
Officials say Setter, who was 18 at the time of the fire, caused nearly $1 million in damages.
According to court documents and testimony, Setter also told investigators he activated a fire alarm at the Landings marina the same night of the building fire. As the Chatham County Fire Department responded, he said he stole a radio from the station so he could listen to firefighter communications.
“Deliberately set fires are a clear danger to the community, and to the firefighters who protect it,” said Christine. “Considering the massive damage to the Code Enforcement building, it’s fortunate that no one was harmed by this destructive act.”
photos: Savannah Fire