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Arson suspected after two people rescued from house fire in Lake County

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a fire that tore through a Lake County home over the weekend, but there’s suspicion it may have been set intentionally.

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Firefighters were called to the home on Franklin Ave. in Montverde Saturday evening and arrived to find flames already shooting through the roof.

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Sgt. Alicia Corriveau of ICU Protective Services says one of their officers was working security for the town of Montverde over the weekend and was one of the first to respond to the fire.

“He said as soon as he walked in, there’s living room, and then the kitchen. You could see the kitchen was fully engulfed in flames and smoke right above his head,” Corriveau said.

Corriveau says the officer, David Milne, ran into the burning home and pulled two men to safety, despite concerns one of them had an oxygen tank.

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“He saw one on the ground, picked him up, and then went to the hallway,” Corriveau said. “That’s where he saw the other guy with the oxygen tank, and he just kind of grabbed them both and pulled them right outside.”

Another safety officer from a nearby school ran next door to the fire department and called for help.

Fire crews from Lake County Fire Rescue and the Clermont Fire Department responded and worked quickly to knock down the flames, preventing it from spreading through the entire structure and to neighboring homes.

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The Lake County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, but those on scene said it was likely arson. They said someone living in the home had a disagreement with a friend who then threatened to burn the home down the day before the fire.

So far, an official cause of the fire has not been determined and no arrests have been made.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.