Brazen arsonist lights fire in broad daylight

Posted at 9:59 PM, Sep 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 21:59:31-04

As cameras rolled, an arsonist poured accelerant all over the front door of Throb Night Club in Sarasota.

The video shows a man calmly walk up to the building holding items to start the fire. As the suspect walks off screen you slowly start to see the flicker of light from the flames, then thick black heavy smoke.

“The amount of heat produced from the accelerant literally blew the doors off the building,” Ronny Barnett the Director of VIP Services and General Manager said.

Barnett said you can see the suspect clearly from the video, but there is one characteristic he wants people to look out for.

“The walk is very distinctive. Hopefully, somebody can recognize the walk and identify him from there.”

The damage caused from the arson is more than $20,000 according to Barnett. The fire was started Sunday morning just before 9 a.m. The club reopened Wednesday after hours upon hours of cleanup.

The roof was burnt to the point where you could see daylight. The doors that blew off during the blast had to be replaced. All of the carpet was flooded from the sprinkler system, and there was smoke and fire damage around the entire perimeter of the door.

Barnett said all of the water was a good thing, “it kept the fire from spreading,” Barnett said.

Luckily, the buildings man water line was above the door where the fire started.

“Where he set the fire there are water lines that run above it, so those lines melted and in turn flooded the building but the flood was actually a blessing because it didn't allow the fire to spread,” Barnett said.

Barnett said he doesn’t think the suspect chose Throb at random.

“We are very well known for what we do here in the community. We serve. We are proud of that,” Barnett said. “We support pretty much every gay event or charity or whatever the case may be so what he did here was pretty intentional.”

There is a $6,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.