Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete: Man charged with setting fatal fire at his home

Daniel Thomas Papaleo, 60, is in the hospital.

Daniel Thomas Papaleo, 60, is in the hospital.

ST. PETERSBURG — Alberta Dalke looked out her window Wednesday evening and saw flames.

The house across the street was on fire. Dalke called 911, joining a host of other residents in the Euclid-St. Paul neighborhood.

Dalke watched as one of her neighbors snaked a hose into a window at 1030 13th St. N.

Then she heard a man's screams.

"I thought he must be burning," Dalke said Thursday. "And then it was like all of a sudden the flames erupted in the back of the house."

A few minutes later, Dalke saw the man who lived there emerge from the house and collapse in the yard.

Firefighters arrived and whisked him away. But long after the fire was out, police detectives remained at the scene.

Dalke turned on the news later and found out why.

After firefighters put out the blaze, they found the body of a second person inside. He was identified Thursday as Robert Scott Greaves, 33, and an autopsy found he died of blunt-force trauma before the fire, police spokesman Bill Proffitt said.

On Thursday, authorities charged Dalke's neighbor, Daniel Thomas Papaleo, 60, with arson. Additional charges will depend on the outcome of the ongoing criminal investigation, Proffitt said.

As investigators combed through the scene Thursday afternoon, Dalke sat on her porch and watched.

"Why would a person want to burn their own house?" she murmured. "Must have been bad."

The two men are not strangers, police said. Greaves is the father of Papaleo's grandchild.

"Papaleo invited him over prior to the fire," Proffitt said, adding that police still aren't sure of the purpose of the visit.

Proffitt said police investigated a few domestic quarrels between Greaves and Papaleo's daughter within the past year. Police believe the couple shared a home together until recently.

Neighbors said they believe the young woman and the child, a toddler, have been staying with the grandparents.

"Obviously, there's some friction in the family," Proffitt said. "I believe the wife and daughter were out of town at the time of the fire."

Police said Papaleo intentionally set the blaze, which produced heavy smoke and 20- to 25-foot flames.

The fire was mostly confined to a screened-in porch area, but worked its way into the attic and other parts of the house before firefighters could extinguish it, said St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata.

Investigators later found accelerant inside the home, Proffitt said.

Papaleo is currently under police guard at a hospital, where he is listed in stable condition, police said. Papaleo appeared to be suffering from smoke inhalation when firefighters arrived, Granata said.

A woman who answered a phone number listed as his wife's hung up Thursday when a reporter called. Greaves' family could not be reached for comment.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643.

St. Pete: Man charged with setting fatal fire at his home 05/02/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Allegiant flight makes emergency landing in California after smoke fills cabin

    Airlines

    FRESNO, Calif. — Smoke filled the cabin of an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at a California airport on Monday, forcing coughing passengers to cover their faces with shirts and firefighters to board the plane, authorities said.

    This frame from mobile phone video shows smoke inside an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California's Central Valley, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Smoke filled the cabin of an Allegiant Air jet after it landed at the airport on Monday, forcing coughing passengers to cover their faces with shirts and firefighters to board the plane, authorities said. Allegiant said no passengers or any of the six crew members were injured. [Estevan Moreno via AP]
  2. Forecast: Sunny skies, drier air dominate throughout Tampa Bay region

    Weather

    Drier air continues to filter into the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday, with clear skies and a slight chance of light rain during the afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Florida education news: Makeup days, graduation honors, sex education and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: Hillsborough County schools will eliminate four early release days to meet minimum state time per course, after missing seven days because of Hurricane Irma. • Indian …

    School classrooms are back up and running after Hurricane Irma. Districts are now setting makeup schedules for time missed.
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrespectful fans

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  5. Tampa heading into several tough budget years

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Less pain now, more pain later.

    The Tampa City Council will hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2018 city budget and property tax rate at 5 p.m. Thursday on the third floor of Old City Hall, 315 E Kennedy Blvd.