Arson suspected in house fires set in Daytona Beach - FOX 35 News Orlando

Arson suspected in house fires set in Daytona Beach

Arson suspected in house fires set in Daytona Beach

Posted: Updated:
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Three suspicious fires broke out in Daytona Beach early Wednesday morning. The State Fire Marshal called all three of the fires arson. 

Investigators said it is still too early to determine if the fires in Daytona are connected to the ones in Orlando and Sanford, but one thing is for sure, detectives are tracking down an arsonist and they need the public's help.

"I was in my living room when I saw the lights going off and I came outside and that's when I saw the fire above the house," said Jay Anthony, a neighbor who witnessed one of the three fires.

Powerful flames engulfed both of the Daytona Beach homes, but the first fire happened on Lenox Avenue near State Road A1A. Firefighters said the front porch was lit on fire.  One witness thought a storm was brewing.

"Probably around 12:15 this (Wednesday) morning, I thought it was thunder outside, or some crackling, and part of the power went out," said Gary Lewis who lives right behind the home on Lenox Avenue.

Firefighters said the resident moved out earlier in the week, so no one was home during the fire. They said the fire caused more than $50,000 in damages.

The fire was so strong Gary Lewis' even home had some smoke damage
.
"I was upstairs on the second floor and there was just smoke. I walked out here to the street and there's fire everywhere," stated Lewis.

Four hours later there was another fire this time a couple of blocks away on Phoenix Avenue.  Neighbors said the homeowner was out of town and thankfully no one was injured in the blaze.

Officials estimate $20,000 in fire damages.
"I'm just worried about her because I know she's going to be upset and she's a great lady," said Anthony.

Then later in the day, firefighters found evidence of another home also on Lenox Avenue and just across the street from the first fire. There was some smoke damage near a basement vent.

"It was enough damage the State Fire Marshal's Office was able to determine that it was an arson fire as well," said Daytona Beach Fire Lieutenant Larry Stoney.

The homeowners weren't home and there wasn't much damage like the other two homes. Fire Marshals used arson dogs and say they found accelerants. 

It's unclear what kinds of accelerants but investigators are calling all three fires arson.

"Are they linked to each other? We don't know. We will figure that out as the investigation is ongoing. Is this linked to Orlando and Sanford? We don't know that either. It's too early in our investigation to determine whether or not this stuff is linked," said Lt. Stoney.

Investigators are offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.


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