Mobile Home Park Fires Considered Arson
Published: May 6, 2003

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HAINES CITY - A firebug is lurking in a local mobile home park.
Someone set three fires in two days - including two at one residence - at Blue Heron Mobile Home Park off U.S. 27, said state fire marshal's office spokesman Mike Douglas.

A reward of at least $2,500 is being offered.

``We could sure use some help from the public,'' Douglas said.

The first fire, at a mobile home at 207 Osprey Drive, happened at 1 p.m. Thursday. The owners came home in time to catch the fire in its early stages; it caused about $500 damage.

A few hours later, someone placed bingo cards atop a stove and turned on the burner in the park's recreation center, causing little damage, Douglas said. But the next evening, the home at 207 Osprey was again set ablaze, this time causing $50,000 in damage, a total loss, Haines City police said.

All three blazes were ruled arson, and state officials are awaiting lab results on what kind of accelerant was used, Douglas said.

He said children were not suspected of setting the fires because it is an adults-only mobile home park.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Haines City Police Department at (863) 421-3636.

Reporter Dave Nicholson can be reached at (863) 284-1409.