Sparkler effect for photo sparked Everglades landmark blaze

AP News
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Posted: May 09, 2016 12:05 PM

OCHOPEE, Fla. (AP) — Officials say a photo shoot sparked a fire that destroyed a historical landmark along the Tamiami Trail through Florida's Everglades.

The 1920s-era Monroe Station burned down in the April 9 fire.

Big Cypress National Preserve spokesman Bob DeGross said in a statement Monday that a suspect has confessed to climbing onto the wooden structure's roof.

DeGross says the suspect was among three men trying to create a photograph using a technique called "painting with light." It involved swinging a lit piece of steel wool in a circle to produce an effect like a giant sparkler.

The men told investigators the fire spread quickly and they fled the scene.

DeGross says the investigation remains open and no charges have been filed. The preserve had been planning restoration for the long-abandoned building in Ochopee.

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Information from: The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press, http://www.news-press.com