Ask a landlord-tenant lawyer and get answers ASAP
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
Since the tenants admit that they were careless and that's what caused the fire, your likelihood of winning a judgment against them is high. You can use any texts or emails you have from them where they admitted it, or if they told you, you can repeat what they said.
The bigger question though, is will you be able to collect a judgment? That's the more important question. That depends on the financial resources of the tenant and the extent of the damage. A judgment in Florida is good for 10 years, and it can be renewed forever until it's paid in full. It may be possible to garnish their wages, but it depends on whether they have kids.
Do you have any questions about this?