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Suspicious fire set in vacant Ft. Myers Shores home

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Suspicious fire set in vacant Ft. Myers Shores home

By Colleen Hogan. CREATED Nov 14, 2012

FT. MYERS, Fla. - A suspicious house fire in Ft. Myers Shores is leaving neighbors on edge.

Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan is finding out, some neighbors say they're glad the house is destroyed!

"I heard this real loud, 'pop! pop!"
 
That's how one neighbor, who asked us not to use her name, described the overnight fire in the 12000 block of Fourth Street in Ft. Myers Shores.
 
In the front yard of the house, a palm tree is about the only thing left standing. 
 
"It was really scary," neighbor Amber McNaughton said.
 
An arson sign stapled to the tree offers a cash reward for whoever stared the blaze that burned through the night and into the early morning hours.
 
Neighbors shared pictures and even some video of the fire that tore through the abandoned property.
 
"I heard it cracking," McNaughton said. "I actually heard a few noises, sounded like gunshots."
 
"Boy it picked up real fast, really fast," next-door neighbor John Wilkins said. "Then the little explosions started."
 
Explosions coming from the inside of the vacant house panicked neighbors, who were evacuated.
 
They say the home has been a problem property for years.
 
"It was a hoarder's house," one neighbor said.
 
Several years back, the two men who lived inside were thrown in jail for hoarding dozens of dogs.
 
"I'm not sad at all to see the place burned down," next-door neighbor Tony Hodges said.
 
Hodges says it was a known drug house
 
"A lot of kids come here and they do drug deals," he said. "We run them off all the time. So for me to see it burnt down, that's great to me."
 
Colleen Hogan, reporter
chogan@jrn.com