Arson case in Nokomis destroys mobile home, kills cats

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SARASOTA COUNTY - Carolyn Wojtczak doesn't have much left after a fire destroyed her mobile home early Saturday morning. And what she does have, she's not letting go of.

It happened in the 100 block of Jessica Street in Nokomis at about 5:30am.

Says she woke up to go the bathroom, and then realized her entire trailer was going up in flames.

"I tried to put it out with the one fire extinguisher that we had and I couldn't get it out," said Wojtczak.

Hearing her screams, neighbors ran outside to help.  "I grabbed my garden hose, and a fire extinguisher and my wife was on the phone to 911," said neighbor Norman Wright, "and it was certainly to no avail."

And trapped inside the burning trailer, thirteen cats.  

"I ran back in the back door after I ripped it open trying to save some cats but I couldn't," said Wojtczak.

In the end, only four were saved and authorities say this fire was no fluke.

That's because Wojtczak's tires were slashed and her main water pipe destroyed.

"For somebody to come in, and slash the tires, break the water pipe so they have no source of water, and then set fire to a pile of things that they were in the process of moving elsewhere is just awful," said friend Linda Langley.

Now left with just four cats and a few charred odds and ends, Wojtczak needs a lot; not the least of which, are answers.

"I hope that we can get another place to stay because we lost our wallets, our money, everything," said Wojtczak.