FORT PIERCE, Fla. - UPDATE:
Stanley Tyrone McBride, 26, was arrested Wednesday in connection with setting multiple brush fires in Fort Pierce.
McBride, who is charged with three counts of arson, was taken into custody near North 25 Street and Woodward Drive just after 9:30 a.m.
He told the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office that he started setting the fires because his grandmother recently died.
McBride lives near where the fire district and sheriff's office have been investigating 15 brush fires in the North 25th Street area north of Fort Pierce.
When McBride was arrested, deputies said he was carrying a cigarette lighter, which he admitted he used to set Wednesday morning's fire and two others.
Locations where Mcbride confessed to setting fires:
- Nov. 4: North 25th Street and Woodward Drive:
- Oct. 31: Iroquois Avenue and Bryant Road:
- Oct. 31: Iroquois Avenue and St. Lucie Boulevard:
The area where the suspicious fires have been set since Oct. 12 runs from North 25th Street and Avenue S (just south of Belcher Canal), north to St. Lucie Boulevard.)
Chester Burse is starting to get suspicious.
"We weren't home, they called it in and five people came, so that's the third time," he said.
His home is in the Sheraton Plaza neighborhood near 25th Street and Saint Lucie Boulevard. The fire department has been to his neighborhood several times in the last week or so putting out brush fires.
Burse said, "I think it's somebody setting the fires."
St. Lucie County Fire officials say 18 small brush fires have popped up within a few miles of each other. The fires happening since mid October.
"Each one of them has been small, manageable and a lot of that has to do with the current conditions, " said Battalion Chief Jennifer Chambers.
Firefighters don't know how the fires started, but think they are suspicious.
New to the neighborhood is Mike Maldonado and his wife. They worry their home could fall victim to these suspicious fires.
"It could eventually spread to houses because there's a lot of dry stuff that should be removed. This is going to keep going. It's a concern to all of us," Maldonado said.
If you see suspicious activity near a brush fire, you are asked to call police.