Middleburg house fires at center of hate message, owned by same person

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Two separate house fires in Middleburg are connected by hateful messages found at the scenes according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.


Action News Jax learned both homes, about a ten-minute drive from each other, are owned by the same person and were both up for sale.

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“There was black smoke coming out of the house. Then the roof exploded at the top,” Lyndsey Lloyd-Perry said. “To do a random, rural house…what’s really the motive there? Especially Middleburg?”

According to the property appraiser’s website, the location on Conifer Circle was purchased as an empty lot in May 2022 for $42,000. The other spot was also purchased as an empty lot in June last year for $68,000.

The owner put houses up on both lots and listed them for sale for $535,000 and $450,000 respectively. As of Tuesday, both listings were removed. Neighbors said the homes had sat empty for months.

“Especially for something nobody is even living in? Why would you do a hate crime in an empty house,” Lloyd-Perry said.

The messages found at the scenes of both homes read, “This is our land...Latinos are not welcome.”

Related Story: ‘Pure hate over nothing:’ Apparent hate messages found at the scene of 2 Middleburg house fires

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The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said, “the messages left behind indicated a potential bias based motive.” As of Tuesday, it did not have any suspect information or possible motive to release.

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