Pain clinic fire raises questions
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- Investigators have some burning questions after a South Florida business caught on fire.
Heavy smoke and flames were seen pouring out of the Hope and Medical Wellness Center on Hollywood Boulevard and 28th Street, at around 9:30, Tuesday morning. "Found heavy fire conditions, heavy smoke, heavy heat," said Hollywood Fire Rescue Chief Joel Medina. "We made entry, found the interior fully involved."
Investigators are calling it a case of arson after finding a message painted with red paint across the side of the building that said, "U killed my son drug dealer." Fire investigators are not only looking at the fire because of the way the fire quickly consumed the interior, but also because of that message, which was not there Monday night.
Firefighters found the front window on the sidewalk. They do not know if it was blown out by the heat of fire or by someone breaking in.
The Hope and Medical Wellness Center was a pain a clinic, which dispenses pain pills. Florida has been under the gun for dispensing the pills too liberally. There have been many overdoses and fatalities that have sparked many protests and arrests, as a result. However, we have no information linking this particular clinic to any of that abuse.
Medina said their suspicious were raised not long after encountering the fire. "It doesn't have the earmarks of the typical fire that we find," he said. "It definitely has suspicious factors involved, and to not compromise the investigation, that's about as much as I can say."
The doctor who runs the clinic would not return phone calls, however, the property's landlord, Warren Stein, said, "I feel bad for anybody who was hurt. I feel bad for the tenants, and I feel bad for somebody who obviously had a problem. I feel bad for them too, especially at this time of the year."
Nobody was injured.
If you have any information on who may have set this fire, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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