McCalla man arrested for series of fires including recent church fire

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Brian Keith Lovoy in connection to a series of fires that dates back to early July.

Sheriff’s detectives began investigating on July 7th in the McCalla area after a man reportedly drove a car into a vacant nursing home on Coleman Lake Road and then set it on fire. He went to a vacant home on the same road and set it on fire. The suspect fled before deputies arrived.

Three weeks later on July 26th, deputies responded to a call at Bellview Baptist Church in the 6600 block of Eastern Valley Road. While they were responding, second call came in with information that a suspect had broken a window in the front of the church, poured gas inside and set it on fire. A witness scared the suspect away and extinguished the fire.

After the church fire, Sheriff’s detectives obtained a sketch of the suspect. The ATF joined the Sheriff’s Office in investigating the arson at the church, offering a reward of $5000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the fire suspect. The Sheriff’s Office offered an additional $5000 reward.

A few nights after the Bellview church fire, detectives received a tip that included the name and address of a man who was similar in appearance to the person depicted in the sketch and also drove a car similar to the one described. They went to the address and found the man. He was taken in for questioning. The suspect reportedly said to the detective, “I know why you are here. You are looking for the arsonist. Well, I am the arsonist.”

With the confession and other confirmation 38-year-old Brian Keith Lovoy of McCalla was subsequently arrested and charged with four counts of arson 2nd degree.

In a release sent out by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Mike Hale said, “It’s difficult to understand the kind of destructive mindset that is bent on destruction for the thrill of it. It’s over for him now and we are happy to report that. The cooperation needed to bring this to a close was paramount and we want to thank every agency involved along with our media partners who obviously played a key roll along with those that came forward with the key information. That’s how it is supposed to work.”

Lovoy is being held in the Jefferson County Jail with bonds totaling $340,000.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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