Man caught on camera starting fire at Melreese Country Club, manager says

36-40 golf carts burned Tuesday night


MIAMI – A young man was captured on surveillance video starting Tuesday night's fire at the Melreese Country Club in Miami, a manager told Local 10 News on Wednesday.

According to the manager, the man must have jumped the gate and then headed to the golf carts, which were set on fire.

Ignatius Carroll, a spokesman for the Miami Fire-Rescue Department, said 36 to 40 carts were burned at the city-owned golf course.

"It's a terrible situation. I don't know why somebody would vandalize this golf course," golfer Wayne Cypen said.

The manager said the arsonist had some towels with him and stood by a palm tree watching as flames ignited.


The manager said the man didn't disguise himself, but employees didn't recognize him.

Carroll confirmed that authorities identified a person of interest while reviewing the surveillance footage.

He said Fire Rescue officials are working with Miami police to identify the man and determine whether he had anything to do with the fire.

According to Carroll, a similar incident took place about a month ago when a city of Miami pickup truck was found scorched at the nearby Grapeland Park. 

He said investigators are working to determine whether the two cases are connected. 

An ownership group led by David Beckham and Jorge Mas wants to turn the golf course into the site of a Major League Soccer stadium, offices and an entertainment complex. A voter referendum set for November will decide whether the project moves forward.

As for the fire, Miami Fire Rescue is the lead agency working the investigation with assistance from the state fire marshal and Miami Police Department. 

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