Deputies investigating possible arson after brush fire fully contained


INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Deputies were investigating the Sunday brush fire as a possible arson after learning two people were seen in the same wooded area moments before flames ignited. Detectives spoke with a witness and a person of interest, said Sgt. Kevin Jaworski, a spokesperson with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

“A witness observed a male and female arguing in the woods. A short time later, the fire started,” Jaworski said. “To us that warrants a closer look as to how this fire started.”

County and state firefighters fully contained the blaze after heavy smoke caused the closure of 27th Avenue Southwest for several hours. Fire crews were monitoring the area for hot spots on Monday.

Indian River County Fire Rescue, sheriff’s deputies and the Florida Forest Service responded to the 10-to-12 acre blaze about 10:46 a.m. Sunday in the woods near 27th Avenue Southwest. Deputies closed 27th Avenue Southwest from 5th Street Southwest to Oslo Road for at least 12 hours, Jaworski said.

No injuries were reported, officials said.

Several motorists and residents reported seeing heavy, billowing smoke. The county had 7 mph northeast winds shortly after the fire started, National Weather Service officials said.

Forest Service crews plowed a line around the blaze while fire rescue hosed down the flames, knocking the fire down to about one acre, Indian River County Assistant Fire Chief Steve Greer said. The state fire marshal did not investigate since there was no property damage from the flames, Jaworski said.

Detectives identified the witness and person of interest on Monday. The sheriff’s criminal investigations division was overseeing the case, Jaworski said.

No further details could be released because of the active investigation.

Photos provided by Indian River County Sheriff’s Office


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