Man Rescued from FL Motel Fire Faces Arson Charge

"Witnesses on scene reported hearing him say 'let it burn' multiple times."

Victoria Ballard

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

(MCT)

A man rescued from a fire at a Fort Lauderdale motel on Saturday set the blaze himself, police said Tuesday.

Martin Kendall, 44, was pulled from the breezeway of the Bali Hai Motel in the 1600 block of North Federal Highway.

“The investigation was able to determine that the fire started near the bed and a torch lighter was found that was later determined to be the cause of the fire,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Det. Ali Adamson. “Witnesses on scene reported hearing him say ‘let it burn’ multiple times so that was another indicator that was something more intentional.”

In body camera footage released Tuesday, fire and police responders pull Kendall away from the smoky building.

As he was carried away, Kendall told the firefighters his knee “went out” and that he just got out of the hospital, the footage shows.

“I got an infection in my foot,” Kendall said.

A first responder answered: “I need to get you out of here … Let me take you to safety.”

Kendall was taken to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation, police said.

Kendall faces a charge of arson of an occupied building. He remained in the Broward Main Jail on Tuesday afternoon.

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