Original article no longer available
The Tampa Tribune
October 30, 1992
Author: CHRIS KAUFFMANN; Tribune Staff Writer
Robert Clark says it may have been the medication he was taking that prompted him to set his house on fire twice – if indeed he set the fires.
The sheriff’s office says the urge to light up may have been the $30,000 insurance policy he had on the home’s contents.
Clark, 51, of 4044 Augustine Road, was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of arson.
He was being held at the Hernando County Jail Thursday afternoon on $7,000 bail.
The report said on Oct. 7, Clark set the den on fire while his wife and two granddaughters were in other parts of the home. The next night, he started a fire in the master bedroom.
The combination of the fires destroyed the house, valued at as much as $70,000, sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Frank Bierwiler said Thursday.
In the first fire, Clark removed all his personal belongings from the den before the fire started, the report said. Prior to the second fire, he was seen moving belongings out of the home into a trailer behind the home.
Before the second fire was spotted, Clark was stopped by a deputy as he was driving two streets away without his headlights on, the report said.
Clark told deputies he may have started the fires but he doesn’t remember because he blacks out from time to time. He said he has felt “”different/strange” for about two weeks since he started taking Prozac.
Clark also told deputies he needs help because he keeps blacking out, the report said. If he did start the fires, he didn’t do it intentionally and never meant to hurt anyone, Clark told the authorities.
Index Terms: ROBERT CLARK; ARSON ARREST HERNANDO FLA; CHARGE
Dateline: SPRING HILL