Three Molotov cocktails started fire in this Bradenton home, cops say

Bradenton police are investigating a fire in a home after finding three Molotov cocktails had been thrown into the windows of the duplex apartment.

At about 3 a.m. Tuesday, the Bradenton police and fire departments responded to a reported fire in the 400 block of 10th Avenue West. Investigators discovered the three Molotov cocktails inside.

Surveillance video footage in the area is being reviewed and investigators are working to get forensic evidence off of the bottles, according to police spokesman Capt. Brian Thiers.

The State Fire Marshal was called out to the scene, but the Bradenton Police Department is leading the investigation.

There were no injuries reported.

The nearby Ward Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church owns the block of duplex apartments. According to Pastor James Sykes, the damage was confined to one room and repairs were already underway.

They were anxiously awaiting what police uncover.

“None like this has ever happened here,” Sykes said.

Anyone with any information about this case can call Detective Jeff Beckley at 941-932-9356. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000, tips can also be submitted to Manatee Crime Stoppers by calling 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or online at

Jessica De Leon has been covering crime, courts and law enforcement for the Bradenton Herald since 2013. She has won numerous awards for her coverage including the Florida Press Club’s Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting in 2016 for her coverage into the death of 11-year-old Janiya Thomas.