110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Suspect arrested in Deltona Club golf shop blaze is former employee
Sheriff's Office said he confessed to setting fire
posted Feb 17, 2012 - 10:59:08am
UPDATED 12:53 P.M. FEB. 17: The man in jail in connection with a fire early this morning at the Deltona Club is a former employee of the golf course at 1120 Elkcam Blvd.
Called to the scene of the fire about 1:35 a.m., deputies with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office worked with a K-9 officer to follow a track from the fire-damaged clubhouse to the rear of a home on East Union Circle, the Sheriff's Office said.
The call had come in initially as a burglar alarm.
Deputies said at the East Union Circle home, they found Jason Grimes, 21, sitting in the garage holding a towel on his left wrist, where he had a 2-inch gash.
Grimes was taken to the hospital, treated for the wound, and questioned by deputies.
Initially, the Sheriff's Office said, Grimes told them he had gotten cut in a bar fight, and then he later changed his story, telling deputies he was mad at his ex-employer, because he had been disrespected and kicked off of the golf course.
The Sheriff's Office report said Grimes confessed to smashing out the west window at the Deltona Club, which is how he cut his wrist. Further, the report states, Grimes admitted to pouring gasoline into the building and setting it on fire.
Grimes was charged with arson and criminal mischief resulting in property damage of more than $1,000. He was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail.
Deltona Fire Chief Robert Staples said the fire call came into the dispatch center at 1:37 a.m. Feb. 17, and fire personnel were on scene within eight minutes.
Staples said firefighters saw flames coming out of the side of the building, and quickly brought the blaze under control.
"The building survived, but there was a lot of damage on the inside due to smoke and heat," Staples said.
A total of 16 Deltona Fire Service personnel responded. The building was unoccupied, and there were no firefighters injured.
The fire remains under investigation by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office and the county fire marshal.
UPDATED 11:53 A.M. FEB. 17: Covered in soot, Deltona Club owner Bud Cahoon was at his clubhouse this morning, clearing out blackened furniture and merchandise damaged in a fire that burned the golf course's combination clubhouse and pro shop in the wee hours this morning.
There was one bit of good news: The beer coolers survived undamaged. There was still cold beer to sell to golfers.
And, there were golfers. The course is open today and before the rain began about 11 a.m., the Deltona Club parking lot was busy.
Only the clubhouse was damaged in the blaze, which is believed to have been arson. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has a suspect in custody.
Cahoon thinks the fire was set by an ex-employee who was upset "because we kicked him off the golf course for being a jackass," he said.
Cahoon estimates the damage to his business at about $70,000. He said he is waiting for a determination of whether the clubhouse structure can be salvaged.
Cahoon also said he doesn't have fire insurance.
REPORTED EARLIER: The Deltona Club clubhouse and pro shop sustained major damage during the wee hours of Feb. 17 in what the club director said appeared to be an arson fire.
No one was injured in the blaze, which started about 1:30 a.m. today, Feb. 17, said Artie Wilson, director of the club at 1120 Elkcam Blvd.
Wilson said a suspect arrested by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office is in jail. The Sheriff's Office could not be reached for confirmation.
A woman in the Deltona Fire Services office confirmed there had been a fire at the Deltona Club, but could not provide more information.
Wilson said it appeared someone had broken a window in the pro shop and poured gasoline around the shop. He said there was "major damage" from the fire.
Wilson said he had heard the suspect lives close to the golf course, and that canine officers from the Sheriff's Office had tracked the suspect to his house.
No further information was immediately available. This story will be updated as information becomes available.
The golf course is open for business during regular business hours.
For more information visit The Deltona Club.
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