Arsonist strikes again; fifth home in Causeway Isle neighborhood intentionally set on fire

Neighbors taking extra precautions

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - For the fifth time, investigators say someone intentionally set a home on fire in the same St. Petersburg neighborhood.

The home was already hit once by an arsonist about four months ago.

On Tuesday night, officers got called to a home in the Causeway Isle neighborhood for what appeared to be a break-in. When they arrived, they discovered a scorched living room.

"It's just gotten to the point of crazy," said Mike Jasek, who lives a few houses down from the one that was set on fire.

Many people who live on the block feel like they may be running out of options.

"Scared to death," said Katharine Schleper. "I don't want to leave at night. We have someone house sit when we're not here."

That's what it's come to for families living in the Causeway Isle neighborhood.

Wednesday afternoon, officers went door to door with the hopes of digging up new leads. They also announced a reward for information leading to an arrest.

"Like a lot of crimes, it's going to take people coming forward to let us know what they know," said Det. Rodney Tower with the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Just five weeks and three days ago, it was a house right around the corner that was hit by an arsonist.

The family there lost everything, including one of their dogs.

The fire was started in the middle of the night.

"Somebody is obviously watching who is coming in and out of their house," Jasek said.

He tells us that most of his neighbors are taking extra precautions.

Around lunchtime Wednesday, an ADT security van was spotted on the street, and we found one home owner installing a new security camera.

No one wants to be next.

"I know talking to neighbors, everybody is scared," Jasek said. "The people are scared to go on vacation. They are scared to get out of their house, because it's like the houses that are vacant, those are the ones that are being hit."

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