Arson task force to address suspicious fires in Orlando and Seminole County
Today the Orlando Police Department announced that it is working with the city’s Fire Department to organize a multi-agency task force to address the rash of suspected arsons that have burned a number of houses in Orlando’s historic neighborhoods, as well as 10 fires in Sanford. In Orlando, there were no injuries reported in relation to any of the fires; according to Matthew Negedly, district chief for the Orlando Fire Department, all but one of the buildings set on fire in Orlando were vacant homes; the other was a shed located next to an occupied home.
The new task force will help investigators from various agencies work together to share arson information and identify suspects.
The new task force consists of:
- Orlando Fire Department Arson Investigators
- Orlando Police Department Investigators
- The State Fire Marshal
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- Daytona Beach Police Department
- Sanford Police Department
- Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
The city of Orlando has seen 16 suspicious fires since April 2014; Sanford has had 10; Daytona Beach has had three. According to the Orlando Police Department, all of the fires “appeared to occur between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., Thursday through Sunday.”
On Wednesday, state CFO Jeff Atwater’s office announced that it had arrested one man in connection with the Sanford fires. Chris Cate, a spokesman for Atwater, said there was not enough information to determine whether the Orlando and Sanford fires were related.
Anyone with information about the fires can call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward.