Owner of architectural firm set on fire plans to rebuild

Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:11:20 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 25 2014 06:20:00 PM EDT

The St. Augustine fire marshal is telling us that the third of the 4 fires, which police called arson yesterday, is now listed as "cause undetermined." The fire destroyed an unoccupied home.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

The owner of the architectural firm in St. Augustine that was set on fire early Monday morning said he plans to rebuild.

Jerry Dixon, who owns the property on Cordova Street, estimates the damage to the building to be about $300,000. He said he is working on cleaning up debris, and that an insurance adjustor was on site to look at the damage.

He believes it will take nine months to repair the damage.

Dixon said he is an architect himself, so he is knowledgeable about rebuilding.

Others are hoping the damage around the fires gets cleaned up.

"Children can get into it. It can be hazardous to small children who are curious," resident Nanette Phillips said.

Fire investigators said the fire at the firm, along with two other fires within a mile of it, were intentionally set. St. Augustine Fire Marshal Bob Growick said Wednesday the cause of the fourth fire on Park Place is still undetermined, despite police saying Tuesday it was arson.

Police are still searching for suspects and have spotted a man in surveillance video seen near the Cordova Street fires and consider him a person of interest.

"We've brought in some people to work some extra hours around the time that this occurred," St. Augustine police spokesman Mark Samson said of increased patrols. "We do have people out. But mostly, just patrolling the neighborhoods, doing what law enforcement does in general, getting out of the cars and talking to people."

Investigators are asking for anyone who saw anything out of the ordinary that night to call them.

"Generally what happens is when people see something," Growick said. "It's not really significant because it's just something that they see on a daily basis, someone walking down the street. They see something that's not important to them, but it's important to us."

Anyone with any information about the fires is asked to call 877-NO-ARSON (662-7766) or Crime Stoppers at 888-277-8477. Callers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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