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Arrest made in Kedron Fieldhouse fire probe

A Palmetto man has been arrested for setting two small fires at the Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center overnight, police said.

Robert Earl Striggles, 19, of Hill Street, Palmetto was charged with one felony count each of arson, burglary and interference with government property, police said.

The fires were small: one behind the front desk in the lobby and the other in a storage area on the far right side of the building. But the fires set off the sprinkler system in the gymnasium, and because the fire alarm was not triggered the water pooled up on the floor and had to be removed, officials said.

Because there was no forced entry at the fieldhouse, the investigation focused on people who had access to the fieldhouse, police said. The video surveillance system for the facility revealed that Striggles worked for the janitorial company that cleans the building at night, police said.

Police investigators found Striggles in Palmetto around 3 p.m. and he was taken into custody with assistance from the Palmetto Police Department, officials said.

The fires were discovered at 6:20 a.m. by an aquatic staff member who had arrived for a swim meet and saw that the sprinkler system and lighting system had been activated.

Police said the fires appear to have been started with some sort of ignitable liquid, and an unidentified liquid also had been poured on several desks in the office area. Lab tests are being conducted to determine the makeup of the liquid found at the scene, police said.

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Comments

Weren't the janitorial duties there outsourced within the last year as part of the staffing cutbacks to the recreation dept?

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