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Man arrested after setting his home on fire in Okeechobee County

Suspect tells deputies he set fire to stop 'evil' that happens there
A man was arrested for arson Friday after telling deputies he started the fire to stop the "evil" that happens there.
Posted at 3:42 PM, Apr 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 20:39:44-04

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — A man told deputies he set his home on fire to stop the "evil" that happens there, according to the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office.

Okeechobee County deputies were called to a house fire at 1648 NW 45th Terrace about 6:45 p.m. Friday.

After firefighters extinguished the fire, a search of the house found that it was empty.

Witnesses told deputies that the resident, Matthew Tate, was seen leaving the home just before they saw smoke.

Tate was located at a nearby home, along with at least one witness who claimed Tate attempted to burn down the house.

According to deputies, Tate admitted to setting the home on fire to stop the "evil" that happens there.

Tate was arrested on one count of second-degree arson and was being held on a $5,000 bail.