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Florida man admits setting fire to Salvation Army building because he felt mistreated: police

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A Florida man admitted to setting fire to a Salvation Army center because he felt mistreated, authorities said, resulting in the closure of the facility as the holiday season approaches. 

Cordearo Lee Mable, 37, faces charges of arson and burglary to an unoccupied structure in connection with the Monday blaze in the Orlando suburb of Kissimmee, FOX Orlando reported. 

First responders arrived at The Salvation Army of Osceola County around 7 p.m., where witnesses told authorities they saw Mable in the area. 

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Burned Salvation Army kettles

A fire at a Salvation Army facility in Florida destroyed the inside and burned everything, including the iconic red kettles.  (The Salvation Army )

When officers found him, Mable said he started the fire because he had been “mistreated by the one place in Kissimmee where homeless people can go and feel like humans,” a police affidavit stated.

He arrived at the Salvation Army facility, where housing, hot meals and laundry services are provided, earlier in the day and police officers were called because he refused to leave, the news outlet said. 

He said he returned to the building, broke a window with a rock and used lighter fluid inside to set the blaze, the report said. No one was inside the building when the fire broke out. 

“We will not disparage the individual who committed this heinous act,” Capt. Ken Chapman, the area commander for The Salvation Army, said in a statement. “We are a resilient Army, and we will continue to march on.” 

Mable allegedly told officers to “arrest him now” or “you are going to have to do it later because I will get my revenge,” according to the affidavit.

A foos pantry at a Florida Salvation Army damaged from a fire

The Salvation Army food pantry was damaged in the fire.  (The Salvation Army)

The fire damaged iconic Red Kettles that were stored inside the building, the kitchen, food pantry and a new industrial washer and dryer set. The location is closed, and the group is looking for another facility, a spokesperson told Fox News Digital. 

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Temporary offices have been set up in Orlando while another facility is being pursued. 

“The damage to the facility and all of the resources used to serve the most vulnerable in Osceola County was extensive, with little to be salvaged.  We are very grateful that no one was harmed in this incident,” The Salvation Army said in a statement. 


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