Arrest made in string of Florida wildfires

PALM BAY, Fla. " Police say they've arrested a man who was seen sparking a small blaze in a town on Florida's Atlantic coast where wildfires have gutted at leat 40 homes.

Palm Bay Police Chief Bill Berger says 31-year-old Brian Crowder threw a glass bottle containing an accelerant from a car window into the woods early Wednesday.

Officers tracked Crowder with the help of residents who spotted him running past their homes.

Crowder was taken into custody on six probation violations, but has not been charged in connection with the fires. Berger didn't say what the violations were, but said Crowder has a known drug past.

Authorities are waiting to question him about the wildfires that have ravaged the area since the weekend.

The fires reported in Brevard County have burned more than 15 square miles. Officials say they're getting closer to containing the blazes.

The Florida Division of Forestry says 40 homes in the Palm Bay area were destroyed and about 120 other structures were damaged. Officials said the total damage estimate was approximately $9.6 million.


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