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Gulfport Hardware Owner Charged With Arson After Shop Burns Down

David Cretella is being held in jail without bond.

The owner of Gulfport Hardware faces arson charges in the burning of his own shop, 5006 Gulfport Boulevard South.

David Cretella, 64, of Seminole was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

Cretella, was taken into custody by the Gulfport Police Department, in conjunction with the Division State Fire Marshalls Office Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigation (BFAI). Cretella has owned Gulfport Hardware for about seven years.

At 8:23 p.m. Friday night, Gulfport police officers on patrol noticed heavy smoke and flames coming from the hardware store.  

Firefighters fought the blaze for several hours battling the fire and multiple explosions due to paint and chemicals that caught on fire and were being stored on the premises.  

Gulfport Boulevard was shut down until 3 a.m. until the fire was completely out.  Damages are estimated at $600,000.  

There were no reported injuries. The fire marshall's investigation revealed that there were two areas of origin for the fire. Given the timeline of the surveillance video and the rapid succession of the fire suggest that the fire was intentionally set.

BFAI examined the room of origin for accidental causes and could not reveal any accidental causes existed. Additional details of the investigation will not be revealed at this time.

Rob Fowler October 23, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Theresa and I know Mr. Penrose has indeed distributed meals to the elderly with a sincere compassion. We also know the rates he charges for his kind, patient, and high quality home computer service is a form of welfare that is nearly pure charity. I don't know about any bankruptcy attorney services he may provide, but I suppose if I were looking at going bankrupt I may give him a call.
Muzi Michaels October 23, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Ditto what Rob said about Mr. Penrose. Let's just decide that we each have different feelings about what happened at the Gulfport Hardware store, some more compassionate and some more horrified. These are OUR FEELINGS and none of us can dare know what Dave's feelings were, if in fact he had anything to do with it.
Philip Penrose October 23, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Thank you Rob and Muzi for your kind words. I do have little patience for those who use any forum they can find online and turn the subject matter into a politcal "discussion". And I agree with Muzi - we all have different ideas about all events....and that is what forums are all about...discussion. OK - I'm done here...this forum has run its course. ;) Not a record-breaker like the ban-on-beach-smoking forum of months back.
Michael Knettel Sr October 23, 2012 at 08:28 PM
It's a sad state of affairs when we all thought that the stores owner was a victim of such a bad fire; then we all find that he is the cause of it. Lives were put at risk. The brave fire fighters that put their lives on the line every day to help save our lives and property were subjected to this same danger at the hands of the store's owner. If business was that bad just close the doors and the community would have embraced him for at least trying. I for one am upset that he caused so much damage to a building that wasn't his and put the lives and property of so many in harms way. I just wish Dave could have picked a better way. I feel sorry for on one hand and deeply upset on the other.
Willie Wackit October 24, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Republicans started out with a solid economy, a surplus, that Clinton, a Democrat had when he left office. Retarded George Bush started a stupid war, Cheney sold most all of the war stuff from his company Haliburton.... ran the economy into the ground and in the last 4 months did absolutely nothing...then handed it to the current prez. Most of the people that dont understand how deep Republicans are in the pocket of big business then gave the congress back to the Republicans that did nothing more than fight each other. People that dont understand how we got to this economic point are the problem...Romney is the problem if you look pass Fox Spews...into the way he made his money, you would think he worked for China and several other off shore countries. No matter, we are now in deep doo doo and no prez will change it but slightly for then next 10 years...Get used to 2nd world economics its here to stay.

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