PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A sliver of evidence led firefighters to a molotov cocktail and investigators are now searching for an arsonist, Panama City fire officials said Tuesday.
Firefighters were called to a small blaze at 906 E. 10th Street at about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday. They quickly extinguished a smoldering flame underneath the house in a crawlspace.
After they put out the fire a lieutenant noticed a plastic bottle melted directly underneath the underside of the house. The crews retrieved the bottle and discovered that it had the remnants of fabric stuffed into the neck and smelled of gasoline.
“The determination was that the bottle was intentionally used as a Molotov Cocktail in an attempt to set the structure on fire,” firefighters wrote. “A tremendous amount of attention to detail of the responding crew is what led to the discovery that this was an attempted arson, since the only evidence was a melted bottle that initially looked like nothing more than an item of trash.”
The Panama City Police Department and the State Fire Marshall’s Office are now investigating the incident.