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CFO & State Fire Marshal Alex Sink Announces Arrest of Escambia County Arsonist

10/7/2010

CONTACT: Jerri Franz or Jennifer Hirst, 850-413-2842  
 
PENSACOLA – Florida CFO & State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today announced the arrest of Lawrence William Patterson III, 23, on arson and insurance fraud charges stemming from the investigation of fires to his vehicle and residence.   The arrest is the result of a joint investigation by CFO Sink’s Bureau of Fire and Arson
 
Investigations and her Division of Insurance Fraud.
In February, Patterson allegedly set fire to his pickup truck while it was parked in the garage of his home in Cantonment, Florida, and then lit a second fire inside the home within six hours of the first fire. While working the fire scene, a firefighter from the Beulah Fire District fell through the ceiling of the structure and was transported to the hospital with injuries.
 
Patterson later submitted two insurance claims for the damage to his vehicle and home.   He received $13,000 for reimbursement to his vehicle, and has submitted a claim for more than $300,000 for damage to his home.
 
Patterson was arrested this week in Escambia County and transported to Escambia County jail where he was booked on five separate counts of arson and insurance fraud.  If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 120 years.
 
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations 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). Information may also be mailed to: The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, 610 E Burgess Road, Pensacola, Florida 32504. 
 
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