CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater Announces New Developments in Sanford Arson Investigations
Contact: Chris Cate
(850) 413- 2842
SANFORD – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who also serves as Florida’s State Fire Marshal, today announced the arrest of Sanford resident Curtis Smith on arson charges related to a recent mobile home fire in Sanford and asked for the public’s help to locate Smith’s half-brother, Steven Angle, as he may have information to assist in the investigation surrounding 10 other fires set in Sanford and the surrounding rural areas. The CFO also announced the reward for information leading to a conviction in the Sanford fires has been increased to $11,000.
“We want to keep the public informed of the progress we are making in our investigation of the recent Sanford fires and assure them that the person or persons responsible for them will be held accountable for their harmful actions,” said CFO Atwater. “Although there is not a timetable for when the investigation will be complete, I am very pleased by the cooperation of our partners and confident that justice will be served.”
CFO Atwater was joined at today’s press conference by Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger, Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, Sanford Fire Department Deputy Chief Ronnie McNeil, Lieutenant Paul Paterson of the Division of State Fire Marshal and Lara Guttentag, representing the 18th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.
Curtis Smith was arrested following a mobile home fire set early in the morning on August 8 in Sanford. He has been charged with attempted murder and 1st degree arson.
Since June 30, eleven fires have been set in Sanford and the surrounding rural areas of Seminole County. Anyone with information about the Sanford fires is asked to call 1-877-NO-ARSON or the Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS. Callers may choose to remain anonymous and may eligible for a monetary reward for any information that leads directly a conviction.
** A photo of Steven Angle and a map of the Sanford fires are attached to this press release.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses; and providing transparency and accountability in spending.