PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested Phillip George Mullin, 46, in connection with two mobile home fires Nov. 12 at the Peace River Fish Camp, off U.S. 17 near the Desoto County line. Mullin was located Tuesday by CCSO detectives and the State Fire Marshal at the Bread of Live Mission in Punta Gorda. He was arrested and taken to the Charlotte County Jail where he remains on no bond.
The State Fire Marshal charged Mullin with two counts of Arson and Burglary. Both fires occurred within minutes of each other at 29241 Tamayo Drive ($35,000 in damages) and 1177 Lafayette Avenue ($50,000 loss). The Charlotte County Fire Department extinguished the two blazes; the State Fire Marshal and CCSO detectives were then called to investigate.
Both agency investigations determined cause of the two fires Mullin was arrested for, was from his cigarette lighter. It was used to ignite the combustible insulation beneath the crawlspaces of the mobile homes. The skirting around both homes was removed to gain access and set the fires. Witnesses placed Mullin in close proximity of the fire scenes and saw him wiping dirt off his knees; he was wearing a soiled denim jacket. One of the witnesses said Mullin came to his residence and was sweating profusely. He was told to leave, but Mullin left his jacket behind. CCSO detectives recovered the jacket and found a cigarette lighter inside.
If anyone has further information about the two other fires, please call CCSO District-3 detectives at 941-639-2101; the State Fire Marshal Arson Tip Line at 877-662-7766; or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477