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Arrest made in church fire
Pendergrass man charged with arson
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An arrest was made last week in connection with a fire late last year at Gospel Way Baptist Church.

Gary Lee Croy, 40, of Pendergrass, has been charged with first-degree arson, according to jail records.

Croy is accused of deliberately setting the Dec. 22 fire, which caused structural damage to the basement and flooring system of the building on Harmony Church Road.

The church, which also housed a small thrift store in its basement, is now meeting at a location on Hwy. 52 in Dahlonega.

Local fire investigators worked with state agencies to determine the cause of the fire.

"This investigation was led by Dawson County with assistance from the Atlanta Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the Georgia State Fire Marshal's Office," said Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford.

"During this investigation, it was determined that the fire was an intentional fire and all agencies worked together to develop a suspect and pursue leads."

A warrant was issued for Croy's arrest last week. He was arrested Feb. 11.