State Fire Marshal’s Office Announces Arrest in Jacksonville Apartment Fire


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – February 27, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Florida Department of Financial Services today announced the recent arrest of Sandy Bernard Elmore, 35, on felony arson charges related to a Jacksonville apartment fire that occurred earlier this week. An investigation conducted in partnership by the Department’s Division of State Fire Marshal, the Jacksonville Fire Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office determined that Elmore set his estranged girlfriend’s apartment on fire following a domestic dispute.

On February 25, the Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a fire at the Avesta Townsend apartment complex and requested the investigative assistance of the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The victim, Elmore’s estranged girlfriend, told investigators she believed her boyfriend started the fire and detailed that Elmore threatened to burn down her home during an argument the two had on the morning of the 25th. She advised that Elmore sent her text messages and left voicemails confirming that he intentionally set the fire.

While investigators were on scene, the defendant again called the victim, at which time they heard Elmore confess to the crime.

The fire originated in the master bedroom of the apartment and later spread to four units within the building. Smoke and/or water damage was sustained in eight other units, rendering the entire building condemned. Structural losses are estimated at $750,000. Apartment management and The Red Cross are assisting displaced families to recover their belongings and secure alternative housing arrangements.

Elmore faces four counts of felony arson. Additional charges are pending related to the damages caused by the fire. He was arrested and booked into the Duval County Jail. Bond was set at $1 million.

Anyone with information about arson-related crimes in Florida is asked to call 1-877-NO-ARSON. Callers may choose to remain anonymous and may eligible for a monetary reward for information that leads directly a conviction.

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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413 – 2842

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