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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Husband, wife fire victims face trouble, arrested by police

That Bradenton Beach family of seven that was left homeless following an apartment fire Feb. 10 is facing even more difficulties.

Bradenton Beach Police yesterday arrested Roger and Sherry Phillips for oustanding warrants. The couple were taken to the Manatee County jail.

Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale said Sherry Phillips, 27, had an outstanding warrant from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office for fraudulent activities. The warrant was issued Jan. 28, just three days before Sherry, husband Roger, their four children and a niece moved into an apartment at 2518 Ave. C. The fire caused $125,000 in damage to the apartment.

Roger Phillips, 30, was arrested for an outstanding warrant in Marion County for public order crimes, Speciale said. Phillips also has an outstanding warrant in Alachua County for violation of parole.

The four children - ages 8, 7, 3 and 18 months - are being cared for by the niece who lived with Roger and Sherry and a visiting sister, Speciale added.

The Island community banded together when it learned of the fire, donating more than $5,000 to the family, along with quantities of clothes, toys and household appliances and goods. West Manatee Fire and Rescue firefighters donated $1,500 to aid the family, and contributed clothes and toys.

The family found a new apartment in Bradenton Beach and two of the children attend Anna Maria Elementary School.

Efforts to reach MCSO spokesperson Dave Bristow for comment on the nature of the charges were unsuccessful.