Man Intentionally Started Apartment Fire That Displaced Dozens of Residents in Miami Gardens: Police

The suspected arsonist allegedly lit a mattress on fire with a lighter in an attempt to kill himself.

A man is facing charges of arson and attempted murder in connection with a fire that displaced dozens of residents at a Miami Gardens apartment complex Wednesday afternoon.

Around six units were damaged by the flames while several more were damaged by smoke, according to Miami Dade Fire Rescue officials. Around 50 residents displaced from their apartments.

Firefighters were dispatched at around 3:30 p.m. to a two-story apartment complex in the 2600 block of NW 207th Street. The fire started in one apartment and spread to other units, according to fire officials.

Malachi Wilder, 19, is facing a charge of first degree arson in connection with the fire, according to Miami Gardens spokesman Carlos Austin.

Wilder allegedly lit a mattress on fire with a lighter in an attempt to kill himself, according the arrest form.

The father of the woman who lived in the unit where the fire started told NBC 6 this was her first apartment at 20 years old.

"Now she has to start all over again from scratch," he said.

The Red Cross, with fire and police officials, announced it is assisting the displaced families.

Wilder appeared in bond court Thursday. He faces one charge of arson and eight counts of attempted murder. 

There were no reported injuries. Surrounding streets were closed as officials investigated the fire.

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