Meth user sets The Senator on fire

The suspect who burned down The Senator might have walked scott-free, with nary a suspicion leading investigators to an arsonist, were it not for her posting the pictures online. We don’t know what in those pictures tipped the police, but they zeroed in on Sara Barnes, 26, who lit the fire, while seeking shelter inside The Senator to do meth.

The Senator was a tree. This old cypress attracted visitors to the Big Tree Park in Longwood, Florida and was named after Florida Sen. M. O. Overstreet, who in 1927 donated 11 acres for the park, dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929.

The Senator’s vital stats, from grist:

    125 feet tall
    17.5 feet in diameter
    Between 3,400 and 3,600 years old
    Over 5,100 cubic feet in volume
    Fifth-oldest tree in the world
    Oldest pond cypress in the world
    Largest pond cypress in the country
    Largest tree east of the Mississippi

Woman arrested for burning down 3,500-year-old tree 75
BY Jess Zimmerman, Feb.29, 2012

Woman arrested in ‘The Senator’ tree fire, Feb.28, 2012


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