Arson Investigators Say Tampa Fires Were Deliberately Started
Tampa fire investigators said they are looking into multiple arson fires on W Palmetto Street.
TAMPA – Arson investigators in the Tampa fire marshal’s office are looking into three fires they believe were deliberately set in the same neighborhood over the past week.
The first fire was set about 1:42 a.m. June 17 at 3903 W Palmetto S. Investigators said someone set fire to a 2002 Dodge Neon in the driveway causing damage estimated at half of the car’s value.
Nearly 48 hours later at about 12:23 a.m. Monday (June 19), firefighters were called out to 3909 W Palmetto St., a home three doors down from the previous fire. Firefighters found a futon-style bed in flames against an exterior wall of the home. An 86-year-old woman lives in the home but was able to escape safely with the help of her neighbors. That fire spread into the eaves and attic space of the home causing major damage estimated at $40,000.
Later that morning, the investigator, noticing a pattern, put out a department-wide bulletin for the Tampa Police Department to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity in the area of the two fires. Tampa police also increased patrols in the area.
Abour 2:11 a.m. Friday (June 23), firefighters responded to a fire at another home on Palmetto Street (the address is 2309 N Harold Ave. an adjacent street). An unknown person or persons intentionally set fire to a trash can that was on the front porch at the northwest corner of the home. The single-story masonry structure sustained minor fire, heat and smoke damage. The home is believed to have been vacant at the time.
Investigators said they have been in the neighborhood talking to residents to develop leads as well as locate any video of the incidents from neighbors or nearby businesses. There is no evidence that links all three fires but investigators said they do not consider them to be coincidental.
Anyone with information about these, or any other, incidents, is asked to contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at (813) 274-7000 or use the anonymous tips page at tampagov.net. If you witness a person committing arson, call 911 immediately. Rewards of up to $2,500 or more are available for information leading to the identification of people involved in arson fires.
Tampa Fire Rescue | Arson | Crime | Fire Marshal | W Palmetto Street | Fire | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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