A Brunswick woman got a close look at the getaway car used by a man who police say set fire Tuesday evening to a home on Old Jesup Road.
Too close for comfort, in fact.
The gray, four-door sedan whipped out of a dirt driveway and was suddenly heading east, barreling straight for the woman, who was driving west on a routine trip with her two teenage daughters. She was forced to slam on the brakes as the man sped toward her, finally swerving into the eastbound lane and just missing her as he drove away, she said.
“He was just coming head-on toward me,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous because police are still looking for the suspect. “I was like, ‘Get over buddy, get over.’ He was going pretty fast. I had to slam on the brakes, then he finally got over.”
That’s when she noticed the fire at the home at 2060 Old Jesup Road.
“The trailer was on fire — fire was coming out of the windows,” she said.
A woman and her baby lived at the rented double-wide mobile home, but no one was inside when the flames destroyed it, according to Glynn County fighters and police. Neighbors reported hearing an explosion preceding the fire, which police and fire officials are investigating as arson.
“Something had exploded inside,” a Glynn-Brunswick 911 Center dispatcher told responding firefighters. “Flames are coming out the window. The place is completely involved.”
The home sat high on exposed cinder blocks early Wednesday afternoon, charred and completely gutted. Glynn County Fire Inspector Wendel Knighten said investigators found a small black can of cigarette lighter fluid and a book of matches in the backyard of the residence. The items were taken into evidence by police investigators, Knighten said.
The home was too structurally damaged by the fire to enter and inspect on Wednesday, he said.
“The entire trailer is just about burned out,” Knighten said. “All the furniture burned up; the floor burned out, the roof burned off. There’s no way we could get in there and walk on that unsafe floor.”
Police, meanwhile, are searching for the driver of the gray four-door sedan that sped away from the scene. It was described over emergency radio traffic as possibly a “Toyota model.” Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said the car’s license plate began with the letter ‘”B”. Anyone with information is asked to call police detectives at 554-7802, or the Silent Witness hotline at 264-1333.
Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the Brunswick woman who was nearly hit by the getaway car stopped and talked with arriving police.
“I was going to stop to do anything I could to help,” said the woman, who works as an in-home caregiver. “I was a little late for work, but that’s OK. I wanted be of assistance if I could.”
By early Wednesday afternoon, she was still a little shaken with the close call she and her 13- and 17-year-old daughters had with the arson suspect.
“He spun out of that dirt road and was in my lane, headed straight for us,” she said. “My daughters were like, ‘What’s going on?’ And I was like, ‘OK, he’s not slowing down a bit.’ The car was one solid, deep charcoal gray. It was pretty scary for a minute there.”