Alleged arsonist arrested in Foley

Baldwin County

FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Authorities say 20-year-old Julian Laird McCleod is responsible for the fires and even confessed to starting them. He now faces two counts of arson among other charges.

“That’s awful that was a beautiful home, gorgeous home.” Monday on Riverwood Drive in Foley it was not the scenic view Sherry Damron was expecting to see on her vacation. “We just thought it was electrical or something that just sparked it up. We didn’t know what happened. We were all concerned that somebody might have been inside.”

Turns out, someone was inside the two-story home but escaped the flames.

“The fire was very intense our staff made a great stop on it.” Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby says the Riverwood Drive fire was started on purpose. “We saw some indicators that we believe this could have been an arson type case.”

An investigation was underway but within 48 hours there was another fire in the same area. This time on Wenzel Road. “Certainly at the second fire we were concerned about what was going on,” said Darby.

McCleod was arrested at the Wenzel Road fire. Chief Darby says they are confident the right person is in custody. “The accounts that we have gotten from him and the fire scene matches that he did use an ignitable to ignite the fire on the outside of the house and it spread rapidly.”

It is certainly something Sherry Damron and her family won’t soon forget. “We’ve had one heck of a vacation this year.”

McCleod is being held without bond. Besides the arson charges, he also faces charges of criminal trespass and burglary.

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