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Reward Offered for Information on Lake City Fires

8/1/2001

LAKE CITY - Florida's Treasurer and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher is joining with the Lake City police and fire departments in asking for information about the suspected arson of three homes and two apartments in a two-block area of the city since April.

A reward of $2,500 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

The most recent fire occurred last week. None of the residences - located on Leon, Hernando and Calhoun streets -- were occupied when the fires occurred, according to investigators with the Division of State Fire Marshal's Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations. However, they said city firefighters were injured while fighting one of the fires that occurred on Leon Street, including one who required at least a month off work to recover.

All of the residences were destroyed, and losses were estimated at about $300,000.

Anyone with any information about these fires is asked to contact the Lake City Police Department at 386-752-4344 or the Office of State Fire Marshal's arson hotline at 1-800-638-3473.

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 law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Last year, the bureau conducted more than 7,500 investigations and made 559 arrests for arson.