Homeowners suspect arson in fire
NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida home withstood extensive damage when it went up in flames on Wednesday, a fire the homeowners are saying was set intentionally.
Police said the single story house was not only burned but burglarized as well. Repairmen were placing plywood on a window located on the back portion of the residence, which Ana and Peter Stefas have owned for more than 30 years.
When asked to describe the damage inside the home, Ana Stefas replied, "Terrible. Damage finished ... the house."
"Exactly," agreed Peter Stefas. "What can you do?"
Ana said she received a call Wednesday morning that her house was on fire. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene, but so did police, who dusted for fingerprints. "Police, the fire department, the investigation people, everybody's here," she said.
Police said they are investigating the blaze as a suspicious fire.
The Stefases rent out the home to a family with two young children. The tenants were visibly emotional as they witnessed smoke billowing from their home.
Investigators are trying to determine exactly how the fire started.
Most of the damage was contained to the back portion of the home.
A large plastic container spilling over with belongings the tenants were able to salvage from the fire lay near the back door. Both the homeowners and the tenants said many of these items were destroyed in the blaze.
If you have any information on this suspicious fire, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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