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Tim Howard
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SARASOTA COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS RESPONDED TO A HOUSE FIRE AT ABOUT 1 PM MONDAY IN THE 700 BLOCK OF TROPICAL CIRCLE ON SIESTA KEY. THE HOMEOWNER, SIXTY FOUR YEAR OLD WALTER MICHAELS SAID HE SUSPECTS THE FIRE WAS CAUSED BY A CIGARETTE BUTT HE THREW INTO A TRASH CAN NEAR THE DETACHED GARAGE WHERE HE KEPT ABOUT TWENTY GALLONS OF GASOLINE FOR HIS BOAT. ACCORDING TO A PUBLISHED REPORT, MICHAELS TOLD FIREFIGHTERS HE HAD CLEANED UP THE GARAGE AND THREW OUT CIGARETTE BUTTS IN THE TRASH. THE GARAGE WAS DESTROYED AND THE HOUSE WAS HEAVILY DAMAGED. SARASOTA COUNTY FIRE LT. ROBERT RADEMAN SAID NO DAMAGE ASSESSMENT HAD BEEN MADE AND THEY HAVE NOT DETERMINED THE OFFICIAL CAUSE OF THE BLAZE. THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL HAS BEEN CALLED IN TO INVESTIGATE. NO ONE WAS INJURED IN THE FIRE.