Volunteer firefighter confesses to several years of arson

SWANSEA, SC (WIS) - A Lexington County volunteer firefighter is charged with setting a few fires of his own, according to the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

Forestry officials said Larry Lucius Williamson, Jr., 36, of Swansea, is charged with two counts of arson for starting fires on May 14 and 15 in the area of the Mack Edisto Road Extension. A bond hearing was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators say the fires burned about 10 acres, including some on a pine plantation. Tire tracks and boot prints found at the scene matched Williamson's, and forestry officials said Williamson eventually confessed to the fires and dozens of others dating back several years.

Williamson also confessed to leaving clues behind in order to throw off any potential suspicion from himself. On one occasion, authorities said he nailed to a tree a W-2 tax form belonging to an acquaintance. On another occasion, he left a note in his own handwriting which said, "I will be back soon."

Williamson has been a volunteer firefighter in Lexington County for about 10 years, and officials said the county fire service cooperated with the Forestry Commission's investigation.

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