SARASOTA, FL. – January 16, 2017 – 11:30 a.m.
Joe Thompson, 39, of Sarasota, has been arrested and charged with arson following a fire that occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. in the 400 block of Lemon Avenue, Sarasota, today, Monday, January 16, 2018.
Officers were on patrol in the area of the 400 block of N. Lemon Avenue when they observed thick black smoke coming from the rear of 428 North Lemon Avenue. When officers pulled into the parking lot, they observed large flames.
Once on scene, officers observed Thompson sitting in a chair facing the fire. Sarasota County firefighters responded and put out the fire. A perimeter was set up by law enforcement and the fire department for safety reasons. The State Fire Marshal’s Office responded and determined the fire was started by a lighter and no suspected accelerant was used. The fire damaged a phone injunction box and the wires connecting to it.
Thompson was transported to the Sarasota County Jail.