The former general manager of the West Rome Popeyes was arrested Monday in connection with allegations that he set the store on fire in September and stole money in the process.
Kelvin Marquez Thomas, 30, is charged with arson in the second degree, theft by taking and criminal damage to property, according to jail records.
According to reports from police and Rome-Floyd County Fire Department officials, the fire started around 10 a.m. Sept. 2 in two separate storage areas. It burned the lobby and spread quickly to the ceiling and back of the store. Thomas told a Rome News-Tribune reporter at the scene that day he was walking toward the lobby when an employee opened a stock room door and flames erupted, forcing them to move in opposite directions.
Two moneybags containing more than $1,500 in cash were missing from a counter by the time firefighters got the blaze under control.