CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Announces Escambia County Arson Arrest
CANTONMENT, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Cody Lee Tullis after allegedly starting a fire on the exterior of an occupied apartment in Cantonment, Florida.
CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “When you play with fire, eventually you get burned. I want to thank our hard working arson detectives who work to ensure arsonists are kept out of our communities. Nobody should have to live in fear of an arsonist doing irreparable damage to their property or causing injury or death. Arson is an extremely dangerous crime; the effects of which may have devastating impacts on innocent property owners for years. If you commit arson in Florida, you will be caught and brought to justice.”
On April 24, 2022, CFO Patronis’ Bureau of Fire, Arson, and Explosives Investigation (BFAEI) detectives responded to a structure fire of a small, makeshift apartment. The apartment was a converted shed that housed two occupants. The occupants were painting inside when they noticed smoke and flames, leading them to both flee the apartment and witness the exterior on fire. A witness described seeing a 6’ tall male wearing a yellow t-shirt obtain a burning piece of wood from a nearby fire pit and walk over to the corner of the apartment. The suspect was soon identified as Cody Lee Tullis. Statements provided by the witness and two occupants in addition to the evidence collected at the scene, led BFAEI detectives to believe there was probable cause to arrest Tullis for arson and criminal mischief. The fire caused an estimated total loss of approximately $8,000.
Cody Lee Tullis was booked into Escambia County Jail on charges of Arson and Criminal Mischief. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.