By: Sharon Aron Baron
Police detectives have arrested a man who confessed to intentionally setting the fire that destroyed 28 apartments and killing several pets inside.
On Tuesday, Coral Springs Police arrested Nathan Counts, 39, of Coral Springs, for the fire that destroyed a portion of Ramblewood East Condos.
Coral Springs Police and Fire departments responded to a large fire at the complex on February 12, at approximately 12:11 pm. There was a total of 28 individual units that were destroyed in this fire, and three cats inside that were killed as a result of both the fire and smoke. Through a joint investigation with The Bureau of Fire and Arson and Coral Springs Police detectives, it was determined that the fire was intentionally set.
Counts confessed that he was depressed and suicidal due to on ongoing child custody dispute. That morning, he purchased a gasoline container and filled it with gas that he purchased and poured gas in the middle of the living room underneath and on top of the love seat. In addition, he poured gas inside of his bedroom and on top of his mattress. He then ignited the gas. His fiancé Patricia Peckham came home, and as she approached the door she saw the residence on fire. Counts was still in the home at that time but subsequently ran out.
Counts has been charted with 28 counts of first degree arson, 28 counts of criminal mischief and three counts cruel death pain and suffering of an animal.
Total structural damages are estimated between $3.5 to $4 million dollars.