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Three structure fires in Port Charlotte considered suspicious

Posted at 5:06 AM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-07 07:01:13-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Three houses in Port Charlotte are now destroyed after a series of fires break out, and fire officials are considering them suspicious. 

According to Charlotte County Fire & EMS and the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, the first fire started around 9:42 p.m. Monday on Lorette Avenue near Atwater Street.  The empty home was on fire and extinguished quickly.

Then, about three miles away at the intersection of McArthur Drive and Peachland Boulevard, a fire was reported at 10:42 p.m. at the site of a home under construction.  That structure was fully engulfed.

A few minutes later, at 10:45 p.m., a report came in of a fire in the 22400 block of Esplanade Avenue, just a few blocks from the McArthur Drive scene.  This was also a home under construction.

Then, around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, the house on Lorette Avenue caught fire again and became fully engulfed.

The State Fire Marshal was on scene overnight investigating all three houses.

A spokesperson for the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office says the smell of gasoline was present at all three houses. 

No injuries were reported.

Neighbors are being asked to stay aware of any suspicious vehicles in the area.

This past weekend 13 suspicious brush fires broke out in Charlotte County.  No word yet on whether the these brush fires are connected to Monday night's fires.