State Fire Marshal, Sheriff's Investigators Charge Pike Road Arson Suspect

Suspect Justin Gorman, charged Monday with five counts Arson Second Degree for Pike Road Fires.
Suspect Justin Gorman, charged Monday with five counts Arson Second Degree for Pike Road Fires.

There is a significant new development in the Pike Road Arson case.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's office and the State Fire Marshal have filed five arson charges against a Pike Road volunteer firefighter.  He is the second volunteer from that department charged in the string of fires.

The chain of events started this past weekend - late Saturday night - when investigators filed theft and burglary counts against 20-year old Justin Gorman.

At first, they said it was distantly related to the arson case but late Monday afternoon, everything changed.

Gorman, just 20 years old, is like Jason Green, the first man arrested.

Both men serve with the Pike Road Volunteer Fire Department. It's not unreasonable to think Gorman responded to several of the dozen plus suspected arsons in the last two years, but investigators won't say exactly how his arrest relates.

"It came out of the investigation of the arsons in Pike Road," said Montgomery sheriff D.T. Marshall.

Initially, investigators charged Gorman with stealing four guns from a full time Montgomery firefighter's home in Ramer Christmas Eve.

Marshall said Monday afternoon Gorman was not found in possession of any property from an arson scene.  But late Monday afternoon, state and county officers decided they had enough to go forward with more, and signed five arson warrants against Gorman.

Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone says he isn't discouraged even though it's the second arrest from the volunteer fire department.

"In any society, you've got opportunities for people to...uh...stray," Stone said. "And, this is still and open investigation."

Sheriff Marshall won't say where the trail will lead investigators next, but promises one thing - Gorman isn't the last suspect.

"Before it's over with there should other people arrested...for arson," he said.

Gorman is charged with arson for three fires in November 2006. He is accused of starting a November 16th fire at 3504 Wallahatchee Road, on November 27th at 15078 Old Pike Road in Matthews, on November 30th at 4107 Old Pike Road, which is near the town hall.

Investigators also filed charges against Gorman for two December fires. The first came December 18th at 300 Old Pike Road. The second occurred just one day later, December 19th, at 449 Old Pike Road.

In addition, Gorman faces four burglary charges for each location except the November 30th fire at 4107 Old Pike Road.

The two theft charges stemming from the burglary of the Montgomery firefighter's home are also still active.

Deputies released Gorman from custody after he made his bond at about 5:15 Monday afternoon.