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Half a dozen arsons: St. Pete residents on edge

11:31 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Half a dozen fires have been set on purpose in the Causeway Isles neighborhood of West St. Petersburg. The fires have happened over a period of 15 months. Neighbors living in the area are worried sick that the next house that goes up in flames could be theirs.

The latest home torched was Thursday night. It's been set on fire a total of 3 times now, along with another house on 79th street and two other homes on 2nd Avenue South nearby.

Shannon Huet lives near the Causeway Isles community and says she has several friends who live on the streets where the fires have been set. "And they actually hire people to stay at their houses now when they leave because they're afraid something's going to happen." 

Huet says she and her neighbors are in constant fear of leaving their homes and coming back to a scene where their personal belongings inside have been torched and burned to ashes.

She addds, "And that's why everybody's tense right now. I mean it gives me goose bumps you know, thinking about it."

And everyone seems to have a theory on who the firebug might be. Huet says, "I truly feel that it's a person who lives in this area."

But that's not enough for investigators from St. Petersburg Fire Rescue and St. Petersburg Police Department. After the 3rd arson at the same home Thursday evening around 8 p.m., they were out again canvassing the area and talking to neighbors while hoping to hone in on a suspect.

Alex Meiners lives a few houses down from where the last fire was set and says, "It's a little nerve wracking around the neighborhood you know."

He says he and his family are trying to do what they can to keep from becoming the next victim. "We watch as much as we can and you know we've got the dogs for protection .. we do what we can .. with the way they're attacking it doesn't seem there's much you can do to prevent it."

Huet says, "We are very concerned that this could spread."

Tammie Fields, 10 News

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