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Dog Dies in House Fire, Police Search for Arson Suspect

Police say there have been four arsons in the Causeway Isles neighborhood in west St. Petersburg.

Four alleged arson cases in the Causeway Isles neighborhood in west St. Petersburg have St. Petersburg Police looking for answers. 

According to police, who think the four cases are related, the first incident took place on Oct. 25, 2011. The latest incident occurred on Nov. 25 at 7949 2nd Ave. S., which resulted in one of the homeowners’ dog dying. 

Police said a neighbor who was caring for the dogs while the homeowners were out of town on vacation discovered the Nov. 25 fire. Another dog survived the house fire. 

Detectives have determined the fire was started from inside the home with evidence of arson being present. 

On Oct. 25, 2011,at 7909 2nd Ave. S, a home was declared a total loss from a fire that investigators said started form inside the home. 

According to police reports, the second incident was discovered on Sept. 4 at 181 79th St. S. This residence was also unoccupied, as the homeowner had recently died.  

A relative inspecting the property discovered that someone had attempted to set fire to an exterior area of the home, near an air conditioning unit. Police said evidence of arson was found, but it appeared the fire self-extinguished and the damage to the home was relatively minor.

The third case took place on Oct. 16 at a vacant residence located at 199 79th St. S. In that instance, the fire was set inside a screen porch attached to the house.   Damage was confined to the porch and again the fire appeared to self-extinguish, and was not reported until a lawn maintenance worker discovered it.

According to St. Pete Police, due to the close geographical of the fires and the similar evidence in which each incident has taken place, detectives do believe the four cases are related.

Monday evening, police canvassed the Causeway Isles neighborhood, distributing flyers and seeking the assistance of the public in hopes of identifying any potential suspects.

Anyone with information regarding the arsons can call the non-emergency number at 727-893-7780, Text-A-Tip to 727-420-8911 or leave a confidential tip at 727-892-5000.

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