Three Accused of Setting Fire in Weedon Island Preserve
The three admitted starting the April 15 fire, which spread to about 6.1 acres on Googe Island, Pinellas sheriff’s deputies said.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Three men have been arrested and accused of deliberately setting a fire on Googe Island in the Weedon Island Preserve, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Brandon Kholos, 20, was charged with one count of intentional burning of lands/principal. Adam Grote, 20, and Aaron Sprague, 17, were charged with one count each of intentional burning of lands. All three are from St. Petersburg.
Deputies said they were called to Googe Island, which is in the Weedon Island Preserve, on April 15 because of a fire that had spread to an estimated 6.1 acres. Deputies learned that a witness
reported to the St. Petersburg Police Department that they observed a vessel leaving the area of the fire. Deputies said they were able to identify Kholos, Grote, and Sprague as starting the Googe fire.
Kholos took Grote and Sprague on a vessel to Googe where they started a camp fire. Grote and Sprague then decided to light the palm fronds on fire, holding them up to other palm tree fronds setting them on fire, deputies said. They did not call 911. They left the island on the vessel and watched the fire burn from the end of 62nd Avenue.
Deputies said the three admitted starting the fire. They were arrested Wednesday (May 24).
For information about the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, go to pcsoweb.com.
Photo of Googe Island after the fire and booking photos courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Pinellas Sheriff | Weedon Island | Googe Island | Fire | Crime | Arrests | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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