BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - At least 70 firefighters worked for hours to put out a massive fire that broke out at the Space Coast Flea Market in Port St. John on Tuesday.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Channel 9’s Melonie Holt found the cause of the fire was arson.
The fire started about 2:30 a.m. on US-1, between Titusville and Cocoa, and destroyed much of the market.
Firefighters had to use two ladder trucks and 11 engines to battle the blaze.
The fire burned out of control for more than two hours, destroying a portion of the flea market.
Firefighters said they were hampered by the mix of wood and metal that made up the building.
"The roof collapsed, and it makes it harder to get to the hidden fire underneath the metal roof. That's what the main difficulty was," said District Chief Robert Seccuro of Brevard County Fire Rescue.
The livelihood of vendors who rely on the flea market for income burned beneath the collapsed roof. Channel 9 learned the fire affected at least 10 vendors who set up inside the building.
"She's been crying all morning. She had a lot of money tied up in that place, a lot of money," said Gary Hall, one vendor's husband.
Hall said thousands of dollars of uninsured merchandise was destroyed.
"If we could get insurance, we didn't know about it. Because if you could, we would have definitely had it," Hall said.
Channel 9 learned there was also a fire at the flea market several years ago.
"This is an old building. We've had fires here before. They've been electrical in the past," said Hall.
The buildings that were destroyed were not insured, Channel 9 learned.
No injuries were reported.
State Fire Marshal's Office is asking is anyone saw anything suspicious in the area please contact their office.