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Published:February 28th, 2006 05:35 EST
Alleged  Arsonist Apprehended

Alleged Arsonist Apprehended

By Brandon Jennings

A suspect was apprehended for arson, which occurred on Feb. 26 at approximately 11:20 p.m. at the South 200 block of U.S. Highway 1 in Ft. Pierce, Fla., that destroyed a historic landmark.

Mark Petraitis, a 34-year-old transient, was identified as a suspect in this case by another male transient who had been using the building for shelter.

Petraitis told investigators he had been cooking hot dogs a half an hour prior to the fire. He was charged with arson and trespassing based on this information. 

When officers and fire officials reached the scene, the building was completely engulfed. The fire halted traffic on U.S. Route 1 from Citrus to Orange Avenue for nearly three hours.

Petraitis is being held at St. Lucie County Jail where he faces charges for both trespassing and arson.

If anyone saw anything, heard anything or have any information that may be helpful to the investigation, contact:

Ft. Pierce Police Department Crime Stoppers

Detective Sandra Larkins    1-800-273-TIPS (8477)

468-1805, extension 5252 

You do not have to give your name and you may be eligible for a reward.