Saturday morning residential fire, leaves PSL woman displaced and 30-year-old male arrested
Port St. Lucie, Fl- On August 17, 2019 at around 5:05 am, Port St. Lucie Police along with St. Lucie County Fire/Rescue and State Fire Marshal’s went to the 400 Block of SW Crawfish Drive, PSL, for reports of a house fire. Richard Caldwell, was arrested on scene and charged with Arson and Burglary to a dwelling.
Once on scene authorities witnessed the house fully engulfed in flames. No one was inside of the residence at the time of the incident.
Firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire. Police learned the suspect was involved in a dispute with the victim during the earlier morning hours, while at a local bar. The victim left the local bar with some friends. Then headed home to find Richard Caldwell inside the residence, without permission.
The victim asked Richard Caldwell to leave, but prior to him leaving the residence he said “you’re going to regret this”; while holding a large bottle of lighter fluid in his hand.
The victim also left the home with friends and upon returning met with first responders on scene. While first responders were on scene; Richard Caldwell arrived and was detained by investigators.
A FD-K9 accelerant alerting dog arrived on scene and a free air sniff found the indication of accelerant on the shoes of Richard Caldwell.
The FD-K9 also alerted to the indication of accelerants at multiple points of origin around the exterior of the dwelling as well as inside of Richard Caldwell’s vehicle.
State Fire Marshal’s on scene also noted the strong smell of lighter fluid around the exterior of the home indicating its usage as an accelerant. Fire Investigators deemed foul play/Arson.
Red Cross is assisting the victim with displacement due to severe damage to the home. No injuries reported. No other homes affected.
Richard Caldwell was transported to the Port St. Lucie Police Station where he was interviewed, arrested, charged with the above charges and transported to the St. Lucie County Jail.
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