The home of an accused child molester went up in flames early Friday, a week after Jones County Sheriff’s Department officials found a little methamphetamine and a lot of filth inside.
Nobody was at the home of 50-year-old Granville Clark, 580 Sellers Road in Moselle, when the call for the fire went out at 1:20 a.m., said JCSD arson investiga- tor Sgt. J.D. Carter.
“It’s under investigation, but it doesn’t appear to be arson,” Carter said. “There were no signs of accelerants being used.”
Carter said he intended to return to the scene on Monday so he could do a more thorough investigation. It was still too hot to go in on the morning of the fire after volunteer firefighters from Moselle and the surrounding areas extinguished the flames, he said. A charred vehicle sat in the carport and a back portion of the cinder-block home was still smoldering on Sunday afternoon.
“Someone who had been in the residence said they left three can- dles burning in the living room,” Carter said. “It’s not suspicious, but we are going to look into it, just to be sure.”
Clark was charged with posses- sion of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia after JCSD and DEA agents raided the residence just before daylight the previous Thursday. Sheriff Joe Berlin said that neighbors had complained about suspicious activity and the condition of the residence, which was littered with trash on the outside and even worse inside, those who executed the search warrant said.
Several veteran officers described the squalor as “the worst I’ve ever seen.” A toddler and “very pregnant woman” who’s on probation were in a bed that was covered in “dog poop,” as was the suspect. Roaches, rats and feces were all over the living area of the maze-like home, they said. Child Protective Services and the Department of Health were going to be notified of the conditions, Berlin said at the time.
“It’s one of the worst I’ve ever been in,” he said.
Two young men who were inside the residence were detained during the search, but they were released. Graffiti was spray-painted inside and outside the home, including the words “I Miss Grace.” The 6-foot-9 Clark said he was a pastor at the time he was arrested for molestation in January 2019. He was accused of inappropriately touching a young teenage girl, and when he made his initial court appearance and heard what he was accused of, he said, “I didn’t realize that was a felony here.” His bond was set at $25,000, which he apparently posted.