Arson investigators track down leads in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Investigators continue to track down leads regarding the four fires that burned in St. Augustine Monday morning.

Three have been determined to be arson. The house at 91 Park Place is still under investigation although it sustained the most damage and is completely gone.

"It's terrible," Connell Gatewood said. He walked his dog by what's left of the old house at 91 Park Place in Lincolnville Tuesday morning.

Someone placed a single red flower on the pile of burned rubble there.

Gatewood was in a house fire as a boy.

Looking at the charred remains of the house he said, "It brings back memories. Although the fire I was in was an accident, but it brings back memories."

Meanwhile, a firefighter went door to door mapping out the unoccupied homes in the area.

Firefighter Chance Hines said, "I'm actually finding more and more (unoccupied buildings) as I'm going along."

All four buildings from Monday were unoccupied.

"It's just good to know where they are," Hines said.

Fire Marshal Bob Growick said, "If we know they're abandoned, we can fight fires real quick and get things out quicker."

Although no one was hurt in the fires Monday, neighbors are still very concerned about future arson cases.

Lauren Parker lives across the street from 91 Park Place, and said, "There's an abandoned house next door and they haven't caught the people who did it!"

Investigators still want to talk to a man seen in surveillance video walking along Cordova Street around the time of the fires.

Growick said, "We have a lot of leads we have to deal with because there are a lot of interviews."

ATF agents and local and state fire marshal's office investigators are pouring through the information coming in.

"Our goal is to find who did this so we can get him off the street," Growick said.

As for Gatewood, he knows all too well fire is dangerous. As a boy his arm and leg were severely burned in a house fireā€¦ pain he still lives with today.

"I hope they find who ever did this because if they don't, they might just do it again and someone's life could be at stake," Gatewood said.

If you know any information about the arson cases, call 1-877-NO ARSON.


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