A series of small fires that burned less than an acre near US-41 at Hickory Drive in south Fort Myers has led to the arrest of a transient man.
Charles De Robbio is accused of setting the fires behind a Napa Auto Parts store near San Carlos Park on Thursday morning.
No injuries were reported.
“It was a little bit more excitement than usual,” said Margo Lineberry, owner of Cutz N Colorz.
Lineberry said she usually copes with the homeless population living behind her business but sometimes different situations arise.
“Probably six to eight months ago there was a guy out here in this grassy area back here behind me with a machete,” she said. “One of the firefighters told me that he was throwing fireballs at them.”
Lineberry said she is not thrilled about the fire but she is confident those won’t hurt her business because firefighters proved they know this time of year every second counts.
“Because it’s March, we’re in basically the start of our dry season so there’s not a whole lot of natural causes for fire right now,” said Sean Allen, manager of the Caloosahatchee Forestry Center.
Allen said Arson is hard to prove even when all signs point to it.
“There either needs to be evidence of some sort of incendiary device or whatever they used to potentially start that fire and you know eyewitness accounts or witness statements, we need to be able to pinpoint that individual to that location at that time,” Allen said.
De Robbio also faces charges of preventing the extinguishing of fire and aggravated assault on first responders.