Clearwater Fire Called Arson

A fire that investigators are calling an arson left six residents of an apartment building without a home early Sunday, authorities said.

Clearwater Fire & Rescue responded to the call of a fire just before 4 a.m. at the Lebeau Apartments, 413 Lebeau St.

Clearwater police Officer William Nahorodny was the first on the scene and entered the burning building to evacuate residents. Police said he kicked in at least two doors and assisted some people in getting out.

Crews doused the fire in about 20 minutes. No one was injured.

The two-story building, which has four units, sustained heavy damage. Apartment 4, on the top floor, was declared a total loss.

The Red Cross was helping residents with temporary housing.

Residents told Bay News 9 that they had heard yelling and shouting just before the fire broke out.

Clearwater fire investigators and the state Fire Marshal’s Office on Sunday afternoon ruled the fire an arson.

The investigation was continuing.

St. Petersburg Times