Pasco woman loses 2 homes to fire in span of months

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017, 9:52 PM EST

A Pasco County woman says two of her homes on the same property were destroyed by different fires in just a matter of months, and one of those fires was deliberately set in an effort to kill a friend in the home.

  • One home burned down following Hurricane Irma
  • Second fire believed to have been set by 21-year-old Wayne Phillips
  • Phillips wanted to kill Crawford because she was a "hater", "people eater"

Tonya Crawford lives on the 21000 block of Market Street in Lacoochee. She said a fire after Hurricane Irma is to blame for her childhood home going up in flames.

“Yeah, that was September 20 and the electricity was out from the storm, and I believe a candle was left burning in the bathroom, honestly,” Crawford said.

She said she was living in an RV with a friend on that same property when it burned down, too. But investigators say 21-year-old Wayne Phillips is responsible for that RV fire.

Phillips reportedly tried to murder Crawford’s friend who was still inside early Sunday morning, according to reports.

“He sat there and set the RV on fire, like, in the doorway, and a girl named Amy was in there and she got first and second degree burns, but she had to jump out the back window,” Crawford said.

Reports show Phillips was squatting in a home behind Crawford’s property, and that he poured gasoline inside of her RV days before he set the fire.

“You could tell the front’s not burnt, the back’s not burnt, so it was started in the middle and he told the cops himself later that day that he waited until she got there and set it on fire,” Crawford said.

Philips reportedly had to be cleared at the hospital for methamphetamine use before heading to jail, and told investigators he wanted to kill the victim because she was a “hater” and a “people eater like the rest of them.”

Phillips has been charged with arson and attempted murder.