Man charged with murder, arson in deadly Melbourne house fire

MELBOURNE, Fla. — A 43-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in a deadly fire that happened last year at a Melbourne home, the Melbourne Police Department said.


The Melbourne police and fire departments were called to a fire at a Guava Avenue home shortly before 10 a.m. Nov. 15.

Officials said the back porch of the home was on fire, and they discovered David Herles, who had significant burns.

He was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center before being flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Read: Melbourne Fairgrounds moves closer to becoming a reality

Herles died shortly before 11:30 p.m. that same day.

Police said that Herles and Theodore Thomas Noe were temporarily using the back porch of the home as shelter as they were unhoused.

Detectives said they conducted a lengthy investigation that included several interviews and the collection of numerous pieces of evidence.

They said they obtained a warrant for Noe’s arrest Friday.

Read: Gunmen shoot man during Melbourne burglary

The Port Orange Police Department on Monday received information that Noe was working and temporarily residing in that city.

He was arrested Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder and arson of a dwelling.

Noe is being jailed without bail at the Volusia County Correctional Facility and will be extradited to Brevard County.

An acquaintance of the men -- who asked to not be identified -- told Channel 9 on Tuesday that she was relieved to learn of Noe’s arrest.

Read: Couple living in RV still waiting on insurance payout over 1 year after hurricane destroyed home

She said the men would sometimes argue with one another, but they never physically fought.

“I don’t know what started it,” she said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Melbourne police at 321-608-6731, Melbourne police Detective Jay Hazelett at 321-608-6462 or Crimeline at 800-423-8477.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.

Comments on this article