Moncks Corner firefighter charged for setting fire at church, Walgreens

Fire at Macedonia Church of God of Prophecy (Source: Joshua Crawford)
Fire at Macedonia Church of God of Prophecy (Source: Joshua Crawford)
(Source: Berkeley County)
(Source: Berkeley County)

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - A firefighter with the Moncks Corner City Fire Department charged with a fire at a Walgreens has now been charged with setting a fire at a church.

Authorities charged Randy Cannon with setting fire to the Macedonia Church of God of Prophecy. He was given a $10,000 surety bond.

Cannon, who was also a volunteer firefighter with the Macedonia Fire Department, had been charged earlier with a fire at the Walgreens on Highway 52 where he is also employed.

The church fire happened on Jan. 20 on at the church on the Church of God Road. 

SLED investigators say that the fire was set at the rear of the church chapel where an audio and visual room is situated.

Before the fire was reported to emergency officials, a witness said he saw a white Toyota pick-up truck parked at the scene with a man near the vehicle.

The witness gave a description of the man who SLED says matches the suspect who also owns a white Toyota pick-up truck.

According to a report, Cannon was the first firefighter to arrive on scene.

On Jan. 21, authorities say Cannon was called out to the scene and interviewed by SLED agents.

Cannon reportedly told the agents that he saw two people behind the church attempting to get inside through a rear door. Cannon said when the two men saw him, they ran towards the woods.

SLED says when Berkeley County Sheriff's Office deputies spoke to Cannon at the time of the fire, Cannon did not mention seeing two people.

In addition, authorities say Cannon told his supervisors that he saw a gas container on the ground in the area where the fire started.

Two people who attempted to extinguish the fire with a garden hose reported they did not see a gas container. It was only after the fire was extinguished did authorities find the container.

Pictures submitted from viewers showed extensive damage to the roof of the building.

Officials believe Cannon also set a fire in a back room at the Walgreens on Highway 52 on Wednesday afternoon.

An affidavit states that surveillance showed Cannon entering a room at Walgreens which had to be opened with a key.

According to the report, Cannon then remained inside of the room by himself for several minutes then left the room.

Surveillance video showed that four minutes later, employees were seen leaving the building.

Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division confirmed they were called in to help investigate the incident before 4 p.m.

The Walgreens is operating on normal hours Thursday. No word yet on how much damage was caused.

Bonneau Police Chief Franco Fuda watched cannon grow up in the Berkekey county town.

Fuda spoke at Cannon's Eagle Scout ceremony.

"If you put 100 people in a room, he'd be the last person I'd pick out to commit a crime," Fuda said."I'm totally shocked and if in fact he is culpable of this, I hope to learn what the trigger was that we might be able to prevent this from happening to someone else in the future."

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