Report: Florida man accused of burning Pensacola Beach homes to cover up burglaries

Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A 22-year-old Florida man said to be “fascinated with fire” is accused of setting fire to at least homes, including two on Pensacola Beach, in order to cover up evidence of alleged burglaries.

Michael Keith Carlisle, of Citra, Florida, is charged with three counts of first-degree arson, burglary and larceny, according to an investigative report by the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Forensic and Investigative Services.

The report says investigators were contacted on Sept. 10 regarding information about arsons on Pensacola Beach.

Investigators say they obtained Snapchat “stories” that showed Carlisle and others inside a home at 704 Ariola Drive on Pensacola Beach. The home was burned on March 5, 2020.

A witness told investigators Carlisle had brought towels and other items to her home from the “pink house,” which investigators determined to be the house on Ariola Drive.

The witness told investigators Carlisle said he had to return to the home, which she believes meant he needed to return to burn the home and destroy evidence of the alleged burglary.

The witnesses said he and others returned to her home covered in soot and smelled like smoke.

Investigators asked the witness if she believed Carlisle could be responsible for arsons.

The witness said she believed Carlisle was responsible for several house fires and arsons, stating Carlisle was “fascinated with fire.”

Carlisle is accused of intentionally setting three homes on fire, including one at 7821 Graves Road in Pensacola and two on Pensacola Beach at 704 and 702 Ariola Drive.

Investigators say the fires caused more than $1.2 million in damage.

Carlisle was arrested Sunday night and is being held without bond in the Escambia County jail.

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