A 14-year-old girl lit six fires on wooded lots in her B-Section Palm Coast neighborhood and now faces six felony charges, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office,
The fires spread rapidly near homes and damaged eight 6-inch sections of fence at a house on Burrell Place, but didn't damage any structures. Photos show the flames pushing through patches of saw palmetto, a waxy plant that burns readily even when green.
City of Palm Coast firefighters extinguished the brush fires on Birchwood Drive, Big Dipper Lane, Burgundy Place, Burrell Place and two locations on Big Horn Drive.
Deputies found the teenage suspect — a Burgundy Place resident they knew from previous encounters and who lives in an area group home — near the fires, holding a cigarette lighter in one hand, according to an arrest report.
Residents who'd called dispatch about the fires had reported seeing a mud-covered girl in a black shirt and blue jeans walking in the woods near the flames, and showed deputies surveillance video footage.
“It is a miracle that no homes were damaged as a result of this reckless behavior,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in an FCSO news release. “This young lady needs a lot of help, and since DJJ released her back into the same environment that allowed this behavior, I hope she does not do it again and instead gets the help she needs. Thank you to our hard-working deputies and the witnesses who saw what was happening and called us immediately, and thank you to the Palm Coast Fire Department for working hard to put out the fires.”
Deputies arrested the teen, who faces five counts of Reckless and Intentional Burning of Lands and one count of Felony Criminal Mischief over $1,000.