Detectives investigating whether several fires in the county were set on purpose

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - Authorities are investigating several fires in Pasco County that started behind a neighborhood and one at a nearby park.

"When it started coming to this corner like it was going to head up this way, that's when I really started getting scared," Courtney Mendonca said.

Mendonca's backyard faces the woods and she said she has seen a number of fires recently. Detectives are looking into whether they are connected and whether someone started them. The fires occurred near Strauber Memorial Highway and Mela Court.

"Are they trying to burn the houses down? Are they trying to hit the power lines or what? I don't understand," Mendonca said.

Authorities said a few miles away from the neighborhood, someone did start a fire at Anclote River Park. Detectives may have a suspect in that case but are still investigating. And have not stated whether that case is connected to the others.

Mendonca said she is concerned about the fires behind her neighborhood. She is also worried because its been so dry this season.

"It's just scary to go to bed at night. I want to crack the window just so I can hear 'cause who [is] going to catch a fire in the middle of the night, if you're sleeping," Mendonca said.

If you want to report a suspicious fire in this area, call the Pasco County Fire Marshall's Office at (813) 929-2737 or the Florida Forest Service Field Office at (850) 681-5800 or you can also report it to (800) 342-5869.

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