Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

20th suspected arson in a year reported in Ybor area

Tampa Fire Rescue investigators survey the scene of Friday’s fire in the V.M. Ybor neighborhood. The blaze at 1412 E 21st Ave. happened just after 4:30 a.m., a Fire Rescue spokesman said.

BILL WADE | Tampa Fire Rescue

Tampa Fire Rescue investigators survey the scene of Friday’s fire in the V.M. Ybor neighborhood. The blaze at 1412 E 21st Ave. happened just after 4:30 a.m., a Fire Rescue spokesman said.

TAMPA — Someone set fire to a vacant house in the V.M. Ybor neighborhood early Friday — the 20th suspected arson in the area in a year and the fifth time that home had been torched.

It happened just after 4:30 a.m. at 1412 E 21st Ave., said Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Bill Wade.

Firefighter Eric Stokes was injured while putting out the fire and taken to a hospital, but Wade said the injuries were not serious.

The arson string led Tampa Fire Rescue and Tampa police officials to create a task force to investigate and seek neighborhood tips. So far, no arrests have been made.

In Friday morning's fire, however, a witness saw someone sitting on the home's porch before the fire, Wade said. Investigators now have a good description, but they would not release it.

Wade said investigators have identified the man and would speak to him.

"He may have seen something that might lead us somewhere else," Wade said.

Before Friday, the last suspected arson reported in the neighborhood was on Dec. 15. That one is still under investigation.

All but four fires have involved vacant homes. Some happened in the middle of the day; some, overnight. Some were started outside the homes, and some were started inside.

Some homes burned multiple times. At least four were in foreclosure.

The fires may all have been set by the same person, or some may have been the work of copycats, investigators said.

Most of the homes involved were frame homes close to neighboring houses, which would make it easy for a fire to spread.

Wade urged V.M. Ybor residents to keep the outside of their homes lighted, preferably with motion-detector lights. He also suggested communicating with neighbors about suspicious activity, watching out for each other and keeping an eye on vacant homes.

Wade asked anyone with information about any of the fires to call the arson tip line at (813) 274-7133 or communicate online at www.tampagov.net/fire. People should call 911 if they see suspicious activity in progress.

"You never know when that one call or one tip is going to lead to a conclusion of this case," Wade said.

20th suspected arson in a year reported in Ybor area 01/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Plant City police searching for drive-by shooter

    News

    PLANT CITY — Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in an early morning drive-by shooting outside a home.

    John J. Keeper, 49, was shot in the thigh in a drive-by shooting early Tuesday outside this home at 516 E Laura St. in Plant City. [Hillsborough County Property Appraiser]
  2. FSU-Tulane coming to Amalie Arena in December

    Blogs

    Florida State basketball is coming to Tampa.

  3. Taylor Swift congratulates Russell Westbrook on MVP Award

    Blogs

  4. Strategic Property Partners launches website for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    Strategic Property Partners has launched its official website for Water Street Tampa, its 53-acre redevelopment project in downtown Tampa Tuesday.

    Strategic Property Partners on Tuesday announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  5. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]