A man whose family said he was depressed since losing his job was charged with setting fire to his own apartment at 6910 W Waters Ave. Monday morning, displacing more than a dozen families. Gezaheign Awasi, a 45-year-old Ethiopian immigrant, was taken from the complex after firefighters contained the blaze. Awasi was booked into a Hillsborough County jail on arson charges. Authorities said more than a dozen families were displaced from their apartments by the blaze that sent 40- to 50-foot flames shooting through the roof. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesman Ray Yeakley said damage was estimated at $350,000.
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Security guard faces porn charge
An All Children's Hospital security guard was arrested Monday after deputies accused him of downloading child pornography at his Clearwater home. Charles James Brown, 61, faces five charges of sexual performance by a child after Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found five sexually explicit photos or videos on his computer, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha. He was in the process of downloading more when deputies entered his home with a search warrant just after 2 p.m., Pasha said. Brown, who was hired by the St. Petersburg pediatric hospital in 2005, had a "very solid" work history as a full-time security officer, said hospital spokeswoman Cindy Rose. He has a background in military and police work and passed all background checks, Rose said. The hospital has received no complaints about him and, according to state records, he has a clean criminal record. He has been placed on unpaid administrative leave while the investigation continues. Detectives have found no evidence to suggest Brown acted inappropriately while at the hospital, Pasha said.