Yesterday afternoon, Orlando police were called to investigate a suspicious odor of smoke in the vicinity of 1406 E. Harwood St. in Orlando's Colonialtown neighborhood. When they arrived, officers discovered the smell coming from 419 Shine Ave., right around the corner. It was the 13th fire suspected to have been intentionally set in one of downtown Orlando's historic neighborhoods, and police turned the investigation over to the Orlando Fire Department's arson investigators.
We've created a map of exactly where those suspicious fires have happened, which you can review below. You can click on the map for more details, zoom in and out, and scroll.
A rash of suspected arsons has also burned 11 homes in Sanford since June 30. State CFO Jeff Atwater, who is also the State Fire Marshal, issued a press release today indicating that his office has arrested Sanford resident Curtis Smith in connection to one of those fires, and it's still looking for Smith's half brother, Stephen Angle, because he may have information about the other 10 fires set in the region.
According to Atwater spokesman Chris Cate, the state is not investigating the Orlando fires because Orlando has its own arson investigators. When asked whether there's any connection to the Orlando and Sanford fires, Cate said that "right now, we are not in a position to say that they are related."
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