St. Petersburg Times

June arsons at mobile home, RV lead to arrest
By Times Staff
Published August 1, 2005

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HUDSON - A 72-year-old man was arrested Friday, accused of setting fires in June to a mobile home and a recreational vehicle at 8301 New York Ave.

State fire investigators say William Haynes Brown set fire to a Winnebago at that address on June 21, doing $5,000 in damage.

Four days later about 4 a.m., a state fire marshal report said, he stacked piles of newspapers under a mobile home at that property, soaked them with gasoline and lit it. Investigators estimated the damage at $40,000.

The home was occupied at the time, the report said, and the fire had been "strategically placed along the only escape route from the occupant's bedroom." For that reason, the report said, Brown faces a charge of attempted murder.

Brown, whose address is listed on the report as the same as that of the mobile home, also faces arson charges. He was being held in the county jail Saturday in lieu of $221,500 bail.

The report says Brown set the fires to get revenge in an ongoing dispute with the home's occupant. After his arrest, he told an investigator, "You guys don't have to look any further for the person who burned the motor home and trailer, but I'll talk to you more about that when I get my attorney," the report says.