Gwinnett County firefighters say an early morning fire on Nov. 14 at a Lawrenceville concrete business that burned several work vehicles was caused by arson. Media reports say that ‘Cop City” protesters have claimed responsibility for the fire. (Photo Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services) Credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

Opponents of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center are claiming responsibility for setting a fire at a Gwinnett County concrete company, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Information about the fire at Ernst Concrete in Lawrenceville and claims of responsibility by “Cop City” protesters were revealed during a Wednesday, Nov. 15, court hearing.

The hearing was part of the South River Watershed Alliance’s lawsuit against the city and Atlanta Police Foundation seeking to stop construction of the training center. The group alleges sediment runoff from the construction site is degrading the water quality and natural habitat around nearby Intrenchment Creek.

“Twelve cement trucks were destroyed in the last 48 hours. They burned them to a crisp,” said Simon H. Bloom, an attorney for the Atlanta Police Foundation, during Wednesday’s court hearing, according to the AJC.

An anonymous post to an anarchist website said the fire was set at the company because Ernst Concrete is the company contracted to pour the foundation for the training center.

Ernst Concrete issued a statement saying it was not the concrete foundation company for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, according to Atlanta News First.

“At the request of one of Ernst Concrete’s local customers, Ernst Concrete supplied two loads of concrete for the roadway surrounding the project,” the statement said.

Gwinnett County firefighters responded to a fire at Ernst Concrete at 553 Seaboard Industrial Drive NE in Lawrenceville shortly after 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 14. Multiple work vehicles owned by a concrete company were burning behind the business, according to a report by Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

Gwinnett County firefighters battled an early morning blaze on Nov. 15 at a Lawrenceville concrete company. Investigators say the fire was caused by arson. (Photo Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services)

The fire did not reach any structures and was brought under control by 3:08 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Investigators deemed the fire arson. A joint investigation is underway by local, state and federal authorities.

“The cause of this fire remains under active investigation. Arson is a serious felony crime and is punishable by imprisonment and associated fines,” the Gwinnett fire department report said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the Gwinnett County Fire Investigations Section at 678-518-4890 or the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804. 

Georgia Arson Control Inc. offers a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the those responsible for arson.

This story has been updated with a statement from Ernst Concrete.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.