MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Gardens police have arrested a teen in connection to an apartment fire in Miami Gardens, which displaced 50 residents.
Police say Malachi Wilder, 19, is charged with 7 counts of attempted 2nd-degree murder because there were 7 other people in the vicinity of where he was.
The fire occurred Wednesday afternoon at the Crystal Lake Apartment Complex, at Northwest 207th Street and 27th Avenue.
Police say Wilder set his mattress on fire in a deliberate attempt to kill himself.
No one was seriously injured, but the blaze will end up costing more than $1 million in damages and has left 50 people homeless, authorities said.
Cell phone video captured residents talking about the flames that swept through the apartments.
Cell phone video also shows a firefighter pulling one person down a flight of stairs away from the burning building.
“What happened here is not good, it is not good. I was sleeping and I heard a noise and I heard people yelling you got to get out it’s a fire, it’s a fire,” said Sharon, a neighbor who only wanted to be identified by her first name.
“Like my furniture was wet in the building,” said Marcia, another neighbor. “The roof caved in.”
“Totally exhausting. There are rumors that we don’t have rental insurance and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what will happen now I have nowhere to go,” she said.
Miami Gardens police say Wilder lives in a second-floor apartment.
Wilder appeared in bond court Thursday, wearing a vest normally reserved for those on suicide watch. He was charged with 1st-degree arson and seven counts of attempted felony murder.
Wilder’s defense attorney argued felony murder charges were too severe because Wilder did not intend to kill people.
At a 2nd hearing, the judge lowered the charges to attempted second-degree murder.
As victims try to recover from this ferocious fire, Sharon and Marcia say they are worried.
“My greatest concern is how many nights will just have to go on, and where will I go? I just don’t know. I just don’t know,” Marcia said
“I don’t know where I’m going to go. I have no place to go right now,” added Sharon.
Total bond was set at $125,000.
Managers at the complex are not commenting. It’s not known how long it’ll take to renovate the gutted apartments.
The red cross is helping those displaced by the fire.