Palm Coast, FL - A 14-year-old girl is charged with five counts of Reckless and intentional Burning of Lands, and one count of Felony Criminal Mischief over $1,000 after setting six fires in the B-section of Palm Coast last night (April 9). The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) said the fires were located on Birchwood Drive, Big Dipper Lane, Burgundy Place, Burrell Place, and two on Big Horn Drive. Under arrest is Nicole Jackson Maldonado. FCSO reports that already knew her from previous ecounters.
The fires were started in wooded lots, spreading quickly, and coming very close to homes in some cases. At least eight fence sections were damaged at a home on Burrell Place and will need to be replaced. The City of Palm Coast Fire Department (PCFD) worked to limit the damage to wooded areas and nearby homes and put out the fires.
Witnesses in the neighborhood reported a young female with long blonde hair wearing a black shirt and blue jeans in the area of the fires. Surveillance video captured the girl walking and deputies immediately identified her as Jackson Maldonado. Deputies found her on Burbank Drive with a lighter in her hand. She was secured and read her rights, after which she refused to speak with deputies.
“It is a miracle that no homes were damaged as a result of this reckless behavior,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “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.”
Jackson Maldonado was processed at the Flagler County Jail, turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and released to her legal guardian pending a future court date.