A distraught man apparently sought to burn down his residence in a suicide attempt Wednesday morning, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
Deputies responded to a 911 call to 106 Dixie Ave. Wednesday at 11:15 a.m., where a father said his son had set the house on fire, Royal said. The 63-year-old father reported that his son, Billy Joe Fullard, 37, used a full can of gasoline to douse areas of the structure interior and lit it with a match.
Ware Sheriff’s Sgt. Bobby Aldridge arrived, saw flames and entered the house to escort the father out, Royal said. Aldridge re-entered the house to locate the son who had barricaded himself in a bedroom, Royal said. The deputy broke through the bedroom door and found Fullard waving what appeared to be a handgun. Aldridge quickly recognized it to be a toy gun and, with the assistance of Deputy Bernard Cooks, took Fullard outside to Ware County EMTs who gave him aid.
Ware County firefighters, who happened to be at Fire Station 3 on Knight Avenue, which is undergoing a structural improvement project, responded within five minutes, a quicker response than if a crew had to travel from Fire Station 1 near the airport, said Fire Chief Dee Meadows, who directed the fire suppression work.
Dixie Avenue is in the vicinity of the Brunswick Highway-City Boulevard intersection.
Meadows said the damage was limited to Fullard’s bedroom, extending into the attic.The fire was extinguished by 11:33 a.m. and the scene cleared at 12:36, Meadows said.
Fullard was transported by ambulance to Memorial Satilla Health, Royal said.
Fullard also took a quantity of medication in the apparent suicide attempt prior to setting the fire, Royal said.