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Photographer destroys historic Monroe Station

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A photography stunt is blamed for a fire that destroyed a Collier County landmark.

The historic Monroe Station burned to the ground April 9.

Officials with Big Cypress National Preserve said Monday that they had a person of interest within 48 hours after the blaze, and he confessed to climbing atop the building to conduct a photography stunt.

The suspect, from South Florida, has not been identified.

The stunt involved a trick known as “spinning,” or “painting with light,” where a person takes a piece of steel wool that is lit and swings it in a circular fashion to produce a photo similar to a giant sparkler.

Officials said two others on the ground photographed the event, and when the fire sparked, the three men tried to put it out but were unable to, so they ran.

Built in 1928 and once serving as one of the original outposts of Tamiami Trail, the station was located on US 41 in the Big Cypress National Preserve. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

The investigation into the fire continues.

[Source: NBC 2]

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