Gwinnett County

Training center protesters claim they set fires to Gwinnett concrete company’s trucks

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A group protesting the Atlanta public safety training center has claimed responsibility for fires set to a concrete company’s trucks.

On Tuesday at 2:38 a.m., Gwinnett County firefighters responded to a fire on the 500 block of Seaboard Industrial Drive and found multiple work vehicles of a concrete company burning behind a business.

Firefighters brought the fire under control at 3:08 a.m and no injuries were reported. Investigators said they believed the fire was the result of arson, although the exact cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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Wednesday, a group posted on the blog “Scenes from the Atlanta Forest” claiming responsibility for the fires.

“On the night of November 13th, we set fire to 6 Ernst Concrete trucks,” the blog post reads. “Ernst is pouring the foundation for Cop City. This site, like many others, is completely unguarded.”

While the organization claimed to have set fire to six vehicles, Capt. Ryan McGiboney from the Gwinnett County Fire Department said the fire spread to 10 additional trucks, destroying a total of 16.

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“Different fires were lit in different locations,” McGiboney told Channel 2 Action News.

In their blog post, protesters who claimed responsibility for the fire said they wanted to “make contractors afraid again,” going on to say “There was a time when contractors were afraid to take on this project. If we can make the cost of the contract greater than the profit, they will drop it.”

Now, Gwinnett County firefighters are working with local law enforcement and the Georgia Attorney General’s Office to make arrests.

“Our investigators are aware of that post. However, at this point in the investigation that doesn’t change anything that we’re doing, but we are still considering all possible suspects,” McGiboney said. “Trying to get everybody to let us know if they have any leads.”

Separately, APD said they are “actively monitoring the incident in Gwinnett County and working closely with the investigating agencies. We are making plans to speak on this in the coming days.”

An attorney for Ernst Concrete provided a statement to Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson about the fires and their involvement with building the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.

According to a law firm speaking on behalf of Ernst Concrete, they are not the concrete foundation company being used.

“Ernst Concrete would like to correct some of the inaccurate information that is being circulated in the media. Ernst Concrete is not the concrete foundation company for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center,” the statement said. “At the request of one of Ernst Concrete’s local customers, Ernst Concrete supplied two loads of concrete for the roadway surrounding the project.”

The attorney’s office said no further statements from Ernst Concrete would be forthcoming.

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Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to contact the Gwinnett County Fire Investigations Section at 678-518-4890 or the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.

Georgia Arson Control, Inc. offers a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for arson.

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