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Two teens charged with arson at former deputy's home

POSTED: October 22, 2007 5:04 a.m.

Authorities have arrested two teenagers in an attempted arson in which a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the home of a former Hall County sheriff’s deputy.

Nathanial J. Thomas, 17, and a 16-year-old boy were charged with first-degree arson late Wednesday, Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said today. The juvenile’s name is not being released because of his age.

Cagle said Thomas lives with his mother next door to victim Terry English. He was uncertain of a motive. Cagle said the teens confessed the crime to Hall County Sheriff’s investigators.

Hall County Sheriff’s officials were not immediately available for comment this morning.

English called the Hall County fire department at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday after discovering a small fire on his porch. He was able to extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived. It caused about $2,000 in damage.

"It appears that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown on the front porch," Cagle said.

Molotov cocktails usually are bottles filled with gasoline, either wrapped with a fuel-soaked rag or plugged with a wick before being lit and hurled like a grenade.

Fire officials are uncertain what flamable liquid was in the container thrown at the house. Samples were taken for testing.

According to reports, English was watching television when he said he heard something hit the front of his house. When he walked outside, he discovered the fire and contacted the fire department.

Cagle said if the explosive had hit the window, it could have started a fire inside the home.



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