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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater Announces Jacksonville Arson Arrest

1/29/2015

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413- 2842

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who also serves as the state’s fire marshal, today announced the arrest of Isaiah Richardson, 16, after an investigation conducted by the Jacksonville State Fire Marshal’s Office and in partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office determined he intentionally set four recent fires in the Jacksonville area.

Since January 22, 2015, the Jacksonville State Fire Marshal’s Office has investigated four separate fires in the Panama Park area of Jacksonville. These fires include:

• 74 Tallulah Street;
• 434 W. 60th Street;
• 331 W. 60th Street; and
• 7602 Pearl Street.
 
On January 27, Detective Tom White, of the Jacksonville SFM’s Office, determined a possible suspect had been seen around several of the fires during the times of the incidents. Detective White contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and requested patrol units lookout for the individual. The next day, a JSO patrol unit located an individual matching the description in the area of the fires; the suspect was later identified as Isaiah Richardson. Mr. Richardson was detained and found to be in possession of a container of gasoline. He was later interviewed by SFM’s detectives and confessed to intentionally setting all four fires. He also indicated that had he not been detained, he would have continued setting fires in the area.

He was arrested and charged with four counts of arson and is being transported by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to the Duval Detention Center, where he will be detained until a Juvenile Detention Hearing is held.

Anyone with information about an arson-related incident in the state of Florida is asked to contact the Arson Tip Hotline by calling 1-877-662-7766.
 
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, 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 state spending.