Arson suspected in multiple St. Augustine fires

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Several fires just blocks from each other kept firefighters busy early Monday morning.

Three of the fires are considered arson, according to St. Augustine Police. The other fire remains under investigation, according to authorities.

The first two structure fires were buildings less than a block from each other in downtown St. Augustine, according to St. Johns County Fire Rescue.

Officials received the first 911 call of reported flames just before 3:30 a.m. at 45 Cordova Street. It took the crew about 15 minutes to put out the fire, which led to a partial collapse of the building. No injuries were reported.

A second 911 call came in just a few minutes apart from the first fire regarding a two story residence at 17 Saragossa St. Officials say it took the crew only a few minutes to extinguish that fire.

The residence was unoccupied and no injuries were reported.

A third fire at a 2-story home was reported shortly after at 91 Park Place. The home has collapsed as a result of the massive flames. The flames spread to a home next door. Both fires are under control. SJCFR reported that both homes were unoccupied.

"All of a sudden we come out and it's blazing," said neighbor Jerry Pryke.

Lu Moore said the Park Place home has been vacant for nearly two years. She said it's frustrating to live next to a vacant eye-sore. "I think that you have a responsibility to the property and to maintain the property values around you," she said.

A fourth fire broke out underneath a home on Cordova Street around 6 a.m. but was put out before it did significant damage to the home, firefighters said.

If you have any information on these fires, call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-8477.


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