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State Fire Marshal’s Office Seeks Info in Fatal Arson

3/6/2007

CONTACT:
Lt. Joseph Schwartz (954)321-3704;                                                         
or Nina Banister (850) 413-2842    
 
IMMOKALEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as State Fire Marshal, is urging anyone with information about a fire at a mobile home that led to the deaths of four people and the hospitalization of six others to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).
 
The fire occurred Sunday morning at a mobile home in Cleves Trailer Park, 713 2nd Ave. Lot #18, and detectives with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) have determined the fire was intentionally set.  It was the second time in as many weeks that a fire was reported at the home.
 
“A reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for taking these lives,” said CFO Sink.  “We will not tolerate this kind of violence and are aggressively working to bring those responsible to justice.”
 
Ten people were reported to be living in the mobile home. Four people died inside the home, and six people were transported to area hospitals with injuries.  The trailer next door had heat damage and was evacuated.
 
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating, along with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the Immokalee Fire Department. Last year, the BFAI made more than 500 arson-related arrests and has an arson clearance rate that surpasses the national average. A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered by the Florida Advisory Committee of Arson Prevention.
 
The BFAI is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.  Anyone with information about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.