Florida Suspect Cooking Crack Starts Fire


Firefighters in Maitland had to brave the heat to fight a fire they say was started by a man trying to cook crack inside his home.

The fire happened Monday morning in a Park Lake Villas town home on Grove Street (see map).

Eyewitness News learned the owner's son was arrested and the State Fire Marshal and Maitland police took him to police headquarters.

AT THE SCENE: Images Of Suspect, Damage

Officers arrested Brett Oblinger who they say is considered a violent offender and was already out on bond for a previous cocaine possession charge.

Investigators said he destroyed a house trying to cook and smoke crack-cocaine in the upstairs bedroom.

Oblinger lost his shorts as the State Fire Marshal arrested and charged him with arson.

Initially, fire investigators said they thought it was a cigarette that sparked the fire and police did pull a pack from the suspect's shorts.

However, investigators say they found a working crack room. Firefighters from Maitland and Winter Park spent all morning putting out the fire that also caused damage to a neighboring town home.

Oblinger's mother said she had no idea what was going on in her home.

"No I did not, no comment. My house just burned, of course I'm upset," she said.

His mother received help from the Red Cross. Her three-bedroom town home valued at $128,000 is a total loss.

Brett Oblinger faces 30 years in jail and is charged with arson.