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Man charged with arson, attempted murder after Washington Street house fire

2 injured in flames

ORLANDO, Fla. – Investigators with Orlando Fire Department’s arson and bomb squad said a man has been arrested Sunday after they determined a house fire was set intentionally, critically injuring two people.

Robert Hendrix, 62, was booked into the Orange County Jail Sunday morning on charges of arson and five counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Investigators with the Fire Department said crews responded to the fire at 536 West Washington Street on Feb. 15 at 7:04 p.m. Two victims were taken as trauma alerts to Orlando Regional Medical Center. One person jumped from the second floor, according to fire officials.

Video recorded by a neighbor shows heavy smoke and huge flames engulfing the home. Neighbors told News 6 the home was a boarding home and several families lived there.

It took crews about an hour to put out the blaze.

Robert Hendrix, 62.
Robert Hendrix, 62.

“Based on the fire investigation, evidence and witness statements, all accidental causes were ruled out and the fire was determined to be arson,” Orlando Fire Department public information manager Ashley Papagni said in a news release. “Hendrix was arrested within 24 hours and charged with first-degree arson and attempted first-degree murder.”

Neighbors said this is the third fire in the area over the last couple of months.

The first fire happened at the former Orlando Union Rescue Mission on West Central Boulevard in January.

Earlier this month firefighters responded to a home on West Washington Street located a couple of blocks away from the most recent fire.

It’s unclear is investigators believe the fires are connected.

No other details were immediately available.