Search continues for man wanted for questioning in Sanford arson fires



CENTRAL FLORIDA - Authorities in Sanford are searching for a man they said may have information in connection with a series of fires that have been set across the city in recent weeks.

Officials are currently investigating 11 fires, most of which have been set in the historic district and some slightly beyond city limits, since June.

Authorities held a news conference Tuesday and said they've arrested Curtis Smith in connection with a blaze that was set Friday. Smith is charged with attempted murder and first-degree arson, but is not considered a suspect in the other fires.

Police have been unable to locate Smith's neighbor and half-brother, Steven Angle, who authorities believe has information regarding the recent string of arsons.

Investigators would only say they got information that led them to Angle.

"We've done statements, gotten interviews, canvassed the area and one person we haven't been able to find for an interview is Steven Angle," said Lt. Paul Patterson, of the State Fire Marshal's Office. "At this point we are actively looking to speak to him. We believe he has information about some of these fires."

Anyone with information about Angle's whereabouts is asked to contact authorities.

Angle’s mother insists her son had nothing to do with the fires.

In an exchange with Channel 9 reporter Kenneth Craig, she said, "Why don't you find him and tell me where he's at? I’d like to know myself. I’d like to know where my boy is at. I'd like to have the reward. I'd have a new home put over there across the street."

Earlier this week, Sanford authorities said they were working with Orlando fire officials to see if arsons in Orlando are connected to those in Sanford.

Twelve suspicious fires have been set in Orlando that officials believe are the work of a serial arsonist because the methods of operation were similar: the homes were vacant and in historic neighborhoods.

Between Sanford and Orlando, the total number of fires is 21, officials said.

In Sanford, 57 vacant properties are in the downtown area, according to the city.

There are nearly 130 foreclosures alone in the downtown Orlando and Colonialtown neighborhoods.