If at first you don't succeed, just set a few more fires and hope that this time the firefighters can't get there quick enough. That was the mindset of an arsonist in Wynwood last night who tried to burn down a warehouse near North Miami Avenue and 29th Street, only to be foiled by firefighters. When they left, the firebug sneaked back in and gave it another shot.
"This was a pretty bold arsonist," says Lt. Ignatius "Iggy" Carrol, a spokesman for the Miami Fire Department.
Fire investigators this morning are interviewing the building's owner to try to figure out whether anyone who works at the company may have wanted to burn down the warehouse or if the arson spree was carried out by a vagrant.
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"We have to check to see if there's anything going on with this company that might lead to an arson," Carrol says. "But a crime by vagrants in the area is also a possibility."
Carrol declined to identify owner of the warehouse, located at 31 NW 29th St., just around the corner from Wynwood mainstays like the Electric Pickle and Jimmyz Cafe.
State records show the building is owned by a Centerpoint Group VIII LLC, which is registered to a North Bay Village man named Sirphan Knattongcome.
Firefighters were first called at 8:45 p.m. to the warehouse, which is mostly abandoned but does hold some restaurant equipment, after a passerby noticed thick smoke billowing from a side door.
They found at least three different fires blazing around the warehouse, Carrol says, with clear signs of arson. They put out the blaze in around 25 minutes, and eventually cleared the scene for investigators to return in the morning.
Then, around 4 a.m., another passerby flagged down a CBS4 news truck to report that more smoke was coming from the warehouse. The news team called firefighters, who returned to find four new fires raging inside the building.
"This person was determined to try to destroy this building," Carrol says.
Again, firefighters put out the blazes within a few minutes.