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Police arrest homeowner three years after a house fire

By: Dave Spencer Email
By: Dave Spencer Email


It was originally ruled an accidental fire, but now police and fire say it's an arson and three years after the fire there has been an arrest.

Investigators say it was a conspiracy to cash in on the insurance and bail the owner out of $100,000 worth of debt.

54 year old George Hickey of Lexington lost his home on Garrett Avenue in September of 2007.

At the time Hickey allegedly told police a pot left on the stove caused the fire.

According to a warrant however, an arson investigator from Lexington Fire received information that the fire was part of a three person conspiracy to pay off 2 people so the other can collect the insurance.

The warrant says during an interview this April, Hickey changed his story from a pot on the stove to oil being poured over the stove as the cause of the fire.

Police and fire investigators also interviewed Elizabeth Green who says Freddie Johnson, Hickey's former accountant, was paid $3,000 to start the fire.

Green claims, in the warrant, she was with Johnson when the fire was set, saying before the fire, the two emptied all the jewelry boxes in the home.

Earlier this month investigators say they interviewed Johnson at police headquarters.

Johnson allegedly told them he never started the fire, Green did and she was the one who took the $3,000.

The warrant states Johnson arranged to have the insurance for the fire deposited in the company's business account.

According to the warrant Johnson confessed to writing a $3,000 check to Green as payment for the arson.

Police say Johnson told them Hickey was trying to get money to pay off his $100,000 debt.

Investigators conclude George Hickey, Freddie Johnson, and Elizabeth Green worked together to start the fire in 2007.

Only Hickey has been charged with arson. He pleaded not guilty.

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