House Fire May Be Caused By Arsonist

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HOLMES COUNTY-- A family of four is homeless Friday after an early morning fire ripped through their home Thursday morning. The family believes someone may have set the fire intentionally.

Steve Tate spent all Friday trying to recover what's left of his charred home.

"A church had donated us a cabinet and sink and all that, we had just had put it in about two or three nights before, then this one here wiped it all out,” explained Steve Tate. “Brand new sink. So now I'm just lost."

Around 5 Thursday morning, while Tate was working, his house went up in flames.

His wife and two sons were inside.

They managed to get out and call the fire department, but it was too late for the home. The fire completely destroyed it.

"You know, your heart just drops, but we're just piecing our lives back together."

Surprisingly, this is not the first time their house has caught on fire.

"Between July 7th or 8th. Three within a month, not even enough to get yourself back up on your feet to go again. Even if it is arson, we don't know where its coming from. What it's about. Nothing,” he explained.

Tate says someone threw a lit accelerant bottle under the house causing the first fire, then someone threw a lit bottle through the kitchen window sparking the second fire.

Tate’s not sure if this fire was the work of an arsonist. He just wants it to be over.

"It’s just revenge and apparently they wasn't gonna settle until we was wiped out. And hopefully this is enough to satisfy whatever happened. The less you know the safer you are."

Tate says he doesn't know what's next for his family.

He’s staying in a trailer near the home. His two sons are staying with relatives, and his wife is currently in Panama City.

Fire investigators are looking into what caused this latest fire.


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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