LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - Two Land O' Lakes houses were hit by arsonists the night of July 4 and at one of the houses, the suspects were caught on surveillance camera.
William Bagley agreed to house sit for his friend who is vacationing in Europe--only what was meant to be a fun Fourth of July turned into a nightmare around 9 p.m.
"Opened the door and there was a wall of fire," explained Bagley. "It was like out of a movie."
Bagley told ABC Action News he immediately slammed the door to the Glenlapp Drive house and called 911. Instead of waiting for firefighters, Bagley filled up bowls of water in the kitchen and threw them on the flames. What was left was a melted door, falling plaster and liquefied gutters--about $5000 worth of damage.
"Cold. This was just cold," he said.
Down the block and less than 20 minutes later, the family living at 17728 Glenlapp Drive had their doorbell rung twice.
"I went to the door, opened it, looked down and found a mortar with the wick burned down," explained Ernie van Glahn.
van Glahn, a former New York City police officer, had something those responsible didn't see, two surveillance videos aimed a the front door and the driveway. The cameras caught it all.
The video shows what looks like two teens light the firework, ring the doorbell and the take off in a Silver Dodge Neon with a spoiler.
"This was malicious. They chose the house because we were home and wanted to cause injury," van Glahn added.
Within minutes of finding the firework that failed to go off, he called police and handed over the video. The video is now posted to Youtube. Pasco County detectives want people to take a look at the footage to see if they can identify the two suspects.
The video can be found at this YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA1vPVKMQf4&feature=youtu.be
Detective believe these cases are related and the suspects were intentionally trying to injure the homeowners.
Both Bagley and van Glahn know they are lucky to be alive and unhurt. Still, they cannot help but play out what could have happened.
"I could have opened the door to a sparkler or roman candle going off and gotten burns," Bagley said.
"If they busted the glass door, it could have hit us, and someone could have died," van Glahn added.
Anyone with any information about this case or that knows the identity of the suspects should call 1-877-NO-ARSON or 813.929.2750.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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