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  1. #1
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Default Crystal River Fla--Man Burns Mobile Home

    50-year-old man charged with arson of mobile home
    By Times Staff
    Published May 9, 2005

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CRYSTAL RIVER - A man with the nickname "Smokey" was arrested on arson charges Saturday. Ralph L. Pedrick, 50, 1075 N Suncoast Blvd. Lot 42, was arrested after a fire broke out about 1:45 a.m. at a mobile home. Two witnesses told a deputy that they saw Pedrick walk toward the east side of the mobile home and that they saw the flickering of a lighter. Then flames erupted from the northeast portion of the mobile home, the witnesses said. They also said they saw Pedrick leave and head toward his mobile home. The witnesses told the deputy about Pedrick's nickname, according to the arrest report. The mobile home, at Lot 40, was near Pedrick's at the Crystalwood Mobile Home Park on U.S. 19. Deputies questioned Pedrick at his home, and after he invoked his constitutional right to not answer any questions, they placed him under arrest on an arson charge. The state Fire Marshal's Office also started an investigation into the blaze, according to the arrest report. Pedrick remained in jail without bail Sunday.

    [Last modified May 9, 2005, 08:00:14]
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


  2. #2
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    St. Petersburg Times

    Official: Man may have started 8 fires
    A state investigator says a man arrested Saturday may have started several fires in Crystalwood Mobile Home Park.
    By JORGE SANCHEZ, Times Staff Writer
    Published May 10, 2005

    CRYSTAL RIVER - A man arrested and accused of setting fire to a vacant mobile home Saturday is a suspect in up to eight blazes at the same mobile home park, a state fire marshal said.

    Ralph L. Pedrick, 50, who lives at Lot 42 in the Crystalwood Mobile Home Park off U.S. 19, was arrested Saturday after a neighbor told deputies he saw Pedrick walk toward a mobile home, saw a lighter flicker and then saw flames break out in the same area.

    Pedrick, whose nickname is "Smokey," was being held without bail Monday at the Citrus County jail on an arson charge. Randy St. Clair, a detective with the state Fire Marshal's Office in Tampa, said Pedrick is believed to have ignited "seven or eight" fires in the park.

    A drive through the mobile home park, which is on the east side of U.S. 19 north of the Crystal River Airport, shows four structures heavily damaged by fire and several others with minor damage.

    The arrest Saturday involved a vacant mobile home at Lot 40. It was ignited about three weeks ago, as well.

    "He set fire to the same one twice," St. Clair said Monday.

    Kevin McKendree, 32, who lives at the end of the one road that serves the mobile home park, said the fires started about six months ago.

    He said among the buildings that burned were a roadside shrimp stand, a water well shed and a mobile home.

    "When the well house burned, that put us without water for a couple of days," McKendree said.

    McKendree said he and other park residents set up nighttime surveillances by hiding in the woods and by watching from inside vacant mobile homes.

    "It wasn't me, but that's how he (Pedrick) was seen the last time, by the neighborhood watch," McKendree said.

    St. Clair credited the assistance from the Crystalwood neighborhood watch. "They helped us out a lot," he said.

    Pedrick was described as a person who was rarely seen during daytime. "I talked to him several times at night, but really, he was pretty much of a loner," McKendree said.

    A woman who answered the phone at Pedrick's home said he lived there with his mother, but she did not want to say anything to the media.

    McKendree said the fire activity reached a peak about three weeks ago.

    "There were two mobile homes burning at the same time," he said. "When I ran toward the front of the park, to guide the police and firetrucks in, I passed Pedrick standing by another mobile home, and there was a ball of fire there. I told the fire department to come on down, there's another one on fire over here. Then I ran back to my house because I was afraid for my wife," he said.

    St. Clair said Pedrick was too intoxicated to be interviewed while he was being arrested Saturday.

    "We've been trying to get him for a while," he said.

    --Jorge Sanchez can be reached at 860-7313 or e-mail at
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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