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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Brevard County

Arson deemed cause of flea market fire
Rating: 3.07 / 5 (15 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Jun 21 - 06:31

No arrests have been made, police said

By Amanda Anderson

Staff writer

COCOA -- As dozens of local vendors try to pick up the pieces of their one-of-a-kind possessions, investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of a fire last week that brought a Brevard County staple to ashes.

In the wee hours of the morning on June 11, crews from throughout Brevard County were already battling a three-alarm commercial structure fire.

Around 2:30 a.m., Brevard County Fire Rescue dispatchers received a 911 call from a witness, who saw flames devouring the Space Coast Flea Market in Cocoa.

Multiple crews arrived at the scene minutes after the call to battle the massive structure fire.

In a release from Brevard County Fire Rescue, crews used a "defensive strategy" to combat the blaze because of the intensity of the flames.

Lt. Don Slayman, public information officer for Brevard County Fire Rescue explained what a three-alarm fire is.

"When a fire is reported, we send a first-alarm response," he said. "BCFR typically sends four fire engines, two ladder trucks, two district chiefs and two rescues for a first-alarm assignment. With each additional alarm, we send an additional four engines, two ladder trucks, one rescue and one district chief. A three-alarm fire means two additional alarms were requested, beyond the first-alarm. This is done on large incidents, when additional personnel or apparatus are needed."

According to the release, the two additional alarms were needed because of the "intense heat and potential for further fire spread."

Crews from BCFR, the Cocoa Fire Department, Rockledge Fire Department, Merritt Island Volunteer Fire Department and Titusville Fire Department were dispatched to the scene; roughly 70 firefighters battled the blaze.

The historic Space Coast Flea Market, which was operational prior to the fire, is now destroyed, with an estimated $200,000 in damages, officials said.

"There were lots of goods in the building at the time of the fire," Lt. Slayman said. "The building had many items sold by vendors. An example of some of the items included jewelry, clothes, computers and books."

While many of the flea market's vendors are left sorting through the ashes, with thousands of dollars in merchandise lost, the investigation is still ongoing.

"The state fire marshal's office has determined the fire to be arson," Lt. Slayman said.

As of press time, there were no arrests made in connection with the incident.

If you have information about the fire, call Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS (8477).

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