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Husband faces charges after setting house on fire
0603 Thomas Franklin Dodd
Thomas Franklin Dodd

An Effingham County man was arrested Thursday night for setting fire to the home he shared with his wife, following a domestic dispute the two had.

Thomas Franklin Dodd, 27, of Guyton was charged with first-degree arson.

Effingham County deputies and firefighters responded to the home in the 100 block of Kensington Circle around 10 p.m. after neighbors called to report the fire.

Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set following a domestic dispute between Dodd and his wife, said Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.

“She left the residence and he started the fire in the master bathroom, which spread partially into the master bedroom,” Ehsanipoor said. “Firefighters arrived and were able to contain the fire to the master bathroom and bedroom.”

The fire resulted in “extensive damage” to the bathroom, “some damage” to the bedroom and smoke damage inside the entire house, according to Ehsanipoor.

“He set the fire and ended up leaving (the house),” Ehsanipoor said.

Dodd’s wife heard about the fire and returned home, Ehsanipoor said, and investigators spoke to her and witnesses. A short time later, Dodd was arrested at a family member’s house on Hodgeville Road.

“He was pretty cooperative,” Ehsanipoor said.

Children had been at the house during the dispute, Ehsanipoor said, but he was not sure how many. Dodd’s wife took the kids with her when she left the house prior to Dodd starting the fire, he said.

The ECSO had not previously been to the Kensington Drive home for any domestic dispute calls, Ehsanipoor said. He added that investigators “believe alcohol was possibly a factor” in Dodd setting fire to the house.

Dodd was booked into the Effingham County Jail and his bond was set at $20,000. He posted bond Friday afternoon, Ehsanipoor said.

The case remains under investigation by the ECSO’s criminal investigations division and the state fire marshal.