ORLANDO, Florida. – Residents of a high-rise building in downtown Orlando learn details about the fire in their home, which turned out to be arson.
“The alarm went off, it was really late at night,” said Harry Goldenberg, who lives in the house.
Some residents of Paramount on Lake Eola were awakened by a fire alarm in the early hours of July 5, shortly after the Fourth of July celebrations at Lake Eola.
Investigators say firefighters were initially hampered by a mattress leaning against the front door. They say the oven was full of debris and turned on at maximum power. According to the report, smoke detectors were broken or removed, sprinklers were covered, vents were blocked, and incense sticks were stuck in electrical outlets.
“It sounds like a scary situation when someone is going through hard times with something for sure,” Goldenberg said.
“I saw him a lot in the elevator and he was pretty sweet and somewhat normal, didn’t talk much I think, but I didn’t expect him to try to blow the place up,” said another neighbor who didn’t want to be named.
Police have arrested Scott Weber on charges of arson. Last month, he was served with an eviction notice. According to neighbors, a couple of days before the fire, the police blocked the street, and Weber threw papers from the balcony.
On the day of the fire, residents of the apartment building sent an email to residents informing them that the fire had occurred with minimal damage and no casualties, but no mention of arson.
“I feel safe in this building,” Mike McLean said. “Feel safe living downtown in any of these high-rise buildings, but you never know for sure. You never know who might live next door, I guess.”
Weber is in jail on arson charges. Police say he has been arrested in the past and has a history of mental illness.