Anderson apt. fire suspect also facing charges in GA - FOX Carolina 21

Anderson apt. fire suspect also facing charges in GA

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ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

More details are emerging about a Anderson man accused of setting two fires in Anderson County.

Authorities in Georgia revealed Matthew Collett, 33, had a previous conviction for arson going back 15 years. They also said he's suspected in another arson earlier this year in that same area.

Collett was charged after a fire at a home in Effingham County, GA, in August. The residence that he's accused of setting fire to was that of a family member. Authorities said the home suffered extensive damage.

Collett's conviction of arson goes back to 1998. Authorities said he was a volunteer firefighter, then just 18.

According to a Savannah Morning News article from 1998, Collett was accused of setting 11 fires in Chatham County. The article said he pled guilty to igniting just two fires, and was given four years of probation and ordered to pay $500 in restitution.

Collett's most recent charges in Anderson County stem from a Aug. 14 fire at the Azalea Apartments on Nunnally Road that left 37 people homeless.

Collett's also charged with setting a fire back in March at a home on Cartee Road. Deputies said Bill, Cheek, 81, died while trying to put out that fire.

Collett is currently at the Anderson County Detention Center with a $25,000 bond on the two arson charges. He has not yet faced a judge on the attempted murder charges.

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