Anderson man arrested in connection with string of arson cases

Billy Cannada Staff Writer

October 18, 2013

ANDERSON COUNTY – An Anderson man is behind bars after police say they believe he may be behind two purposefully set fires, one of which turned deadly.

Police recently arrested Matthew Collett on charges of first degree arson and attempted murder.

Investigators say they believe Collett set fire to the Azalea Apartments on Nunnally Road back in August, leaving 37 people homeless.

Anderson County investigators say Collett is also charged with setting fire to his neighbor’s home on March 30 on Cartee Road in Anderson.

The neighbor, police say, died of a heart attack while trying to fight the fire.

Collett is charged with first degree arson, which could carry a prison sentence of more than 30 years if convicted, investigators say.

He is also charged with arson and attempted murder in connection with the apartment fire in August, according to police.

More than 30 families were displaced from the apartment fires.

The locations of the two fires are about a mile apart.

Collett is currently being held at the Anderson County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond.