Large house fire in Port St. Lucie was arson, investigator saysDecember 29th, 2009 by TCPalm.com
PORT ST. LUCIE — A fire early this month that destroyed a large home east of U.S. 1 near Prima Vista Boulevard is a case of arson, and an investigation into the incident is continuing, a top St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office official said.
The early morning Dec. 4 blaze in the 1000 block of Tilton Road ravaged the home of Raymond Roddy, 60, taking at least an hour for St. Lucie County Fire District crews to get under control.
“The fire marshal has made a determination that the fire out at Tilton Road was, in fact, arson,” sheriff’s Chief Deputy Garry Wilson said late Monday. “They are not ready to identify a suspect at this time.” A deputy was dispatched to a brush fire in the area of some apartments. The deputy noticed a “large glow” east of the apartments in the sky and found Roddy’s residence engulfed in flames.
Minutes later, Roddy walked down the driveway, appearing calm and not trying to get the deputy’s attention.
Asked for Roddy’s account of the incident, Wilson in an earlier interview said, “The house caught on fire, and the rest of it is kind of sketchy.”
“There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered … as far as the circumstances,” Wilson said.
Roddy sustained minor injuries, but Wilson has said investigators haven’t determined how they occurred.
The home is a total loss. It’s situated behind a fence and set back a considerable distance from the road, tucked behind trees.
Roddy could not be reached in earlier attempts, but a woman who identified herself as his daughter has declined to answer questions when contacted by phone.
“It has been determined that the fire was, in fact, set and it is being investigated as arson,” Wilson said.
By Will Greenlee