December 1, 2020

Woman Charged with First Degree Arson

(Franklin, GA) — An Alabama woman has been charged with First Degree Arson following an investigation initiated after a vacant mobile home was damaged at 1255 Thomas Street near Ephesus in October of 2015.

65-year-old Marie Chandler Smith was arrested by the Heard County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday because she attempted to file an insurance claim in the amount of approximately $60,000.

Marie Chandler Smith

Marie Chandler Smith

Smith, the owner of the property, told investigators that she had set off several bug bombs in the vacant house and returned to find an abundance of smoke.

However, according to a report by Investigator Sgt. Dan Boswell, arson investigators with the Heard County Fire Department determined that Smith allegedly attempted to start fires in several different places of the mobile home.

Investigators believe Smith thought the bug bombs would accelerate the fire, but in actuality the bombs likely had the opposite effect.

With some restrictions, it is legal to burn down one’s own home in the State of Georgia but the act becomes arson and illegal when the person attempts to file an insurance claim for the ensuing losses.

All arson charges are felonies in Georgia.


  1. Marie C Smith says

    to start with it wasn’t october. second at the time of small fire in corner i thought i had no insurance third how did you come up with 60,000 home only worth 32,000 and one of YOU told me i needed to file a claim fifth i set the bombs off to kill lice not set fire to the home i was cleaning up to rent out not to have heard co. come in and kick all new windows out. you forgot about the ceiling fan shorting out and falling. the fire alone wasn’t worth filing a claim on .wasn’t enough damage but going thur house and every new window kicked out made cost to repair go much higher. sorry no intentionally set fire i’m sorry you got mad mr. Craige and mr. Boswell because i wouldn’t say i did it but i didn’t do anything. i want to apolize to my family, friends for the embrassment of the untrue crime i’m charged with but IT IS NOT TRUE and i’m not guilty of any such! Craige knows it untrue he told me. he said he had to tell the insurance co. something so he had nothing to tell them so he says it was intentionally but he knows he’s wrong and i hope GOD will help me forgive him for his untrue charges

  2. Marie C Smith says

    If their is anyone that knows me reading my charge and you know me please comment and let me see if you think i’m that kind of person.We raise chicken and cows and have our own lovely home with an income of about 190,000 a year and everything we have is paid for but Craige and Boswell say i need money. i’m sorry about getting upset about the windows i apolize cause i know the firemen were doing their job and to all the firemen i want to thank you all very much!

  3. Marie C Smith says

    Please keep in mind i’ve only been charged i haven’t been found guilty and theres no way they can BECAUSE I MARIE SMITH DID NOT DO IT!! I love to work i really don’t work for the dollar i just like to work it keeps you healthy and alive. Ask anybody that knows me they will tell you.

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