Copper Theft Blamed for Key Largo Fire - 8 News NOW

Tedd Florendo, Reporter

Copper Theft Blamed for Key Largo Fire

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Scott Allison with Clark County Fire says the suspect came with his tools and equipment primed and ready. Scott Allison with Clark County Fire says the suspect came with his tools and equipment primed and ready.

The man investigators say is responsible for starting a fire at an abandoned casino is fighting for his life. Authorities say he started the fire while he was trying to steal copper from the building. It happened at about 7:00 p.m. Monday night at the old Key Largo Casino on Flamingo near Paradise.

The suspect may not make it. He's still in critical conditions with burns to over 80-percent of his body. Fire officials say this is proof that not only is stealing copper a crime, but it's also dangerous too.

Scott Allison with Clark County Fire says the suspect came with his tools and equipment primed and ready. He broke into the Key Largo and tried to steal the copper wiring out of the power box. What he didn't know was that the power was still on.

When he grabbed the wiring, he sustained heavy voltage and caught on fire. That fire sparked some of the debris and clutter in the casino to catch on fire too. Allison says if the suspect lives, he will never be the same.

"In this case, it did not work out in his favor because he may end up losing his life, due to the fact that he was tying to steal the copper wire. All because he reached into a power box that he did not know was still hot and got severely burned," he said.

The businesses next door say they see people coming in and out of there all the time. They're not surprised that someone was actually stealing copper, but they say they're lucky the fire didn't spread to their businesses.

Email your comments to Reporter Tedd Florendo

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