Suspect in custody, accused of setting house on fire

Source: RCSO
Source: RCSO


John Williams is the man one anonymous neighborhood said she's known since grade school, and the man some in the neighborhood knew as the guy who could fix anything around the house.

"He fixed everybody's house, even people across the street, "one anonymous neighbor said.

Richmond County investigators tell us Williams walked into the home while his estranged wife Kim was sleeping. The two got into an argument and he doused her with gasoline. The victim and her daughter were able to get out safely through a bedroom window.

At that time, authorities were called in. When they got there, Williams threw something at them. The gas ignited and sent the home up in flames. Deputies got out of the house, but Williams was still inside.

He was found a short time later under an SUV in the garage and was taken to GRU, where he was treated for smoke inhalation. He was then taken to jail.

Neighbors said the family is very shaken up.

One anonymous neighbor said, "They are shaken up. They can't believe it either. They don't know what triggered it or what made him go the way he did. Everybody's just real shocked by it. People that put on and act like they're neighborhood people are the ones you have to watch."


A Hephzibah man is behind bars after investigators say he poured gasoline on top of his wife, on their home, and then lit the house on fire.

Deputies responded to the home on Sanderling Drive to find it on fire early Sunday morning.

John Williams is the suspect in this case. Richmond County investigators said he entered the home of his estranged wife while she was sleeping, before confronting her and pouring gasoline on her.

The victim and her daughter were able to escape unharmed through a bedroom window. Five deputies then went into the home, where they found Williams.

Williams then threw something at deputies, igniting the gas. The entire home then burst into flames. Deputies were able to retreat outside without the suspect, but Deputy Bryan Mealing was doused with gasoline on his left arm.

The suspect was then located in the garage area, hiding underneath an SUV. He was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center, and then to jail.

He's currently charged with arson and two counts of aggravated assault. He remains in jail without bond.

Original Story:

Neighbors are in shock on Sanderling drive in South Augusta, after a home went up in smoke around 4A.M. Sunday.

A neighbor told Fox 54 a woman came to his door, frantic, saying her ex-husband was about to set their house on fire.

An anonymous neighbor said, "He's a good man. This is the last person on this street we expected this to happen to."

That neighbor said he smelled gasoline on the woman and immediately ran to the house to help. According to that same neighbor, the ex-husband was barricaded inside the garage and was not coming out.

Fox 54 was not able to confirm this information with investigators.

The neighbor said minutes after the woman came to his door, the house went up in flames.

"The house was just burning. We were wondering if he was alive, "one anonymous neighbor said.

Neighbors say emergency officials rescued the man from the house and transported him to GRU.

Authorities have not confirmed his condition, but neighbors said he's recovering from smoke inhalation and he's talking.

"He's still fighting. He's responsive, but right now I think the first 48 hours are critical," said an anonymous neighbor.

Neighbors said the woman is expected to be OK.

Fox 54 will continue to update you as the story develops.