Arrest Made in Fla. Serial Arsons

June 25, 2003

A 22 year-old Orange Park, Florida man has been arrested in connection with several arson fires that occurred earlier this year in the Eagle Harbor area of Clay County.

James Bird was charged Monday with criminal mischief and arson stemming from an incident at his father’s home that led investigators to suspect him in multiple fires that occurred between Jan. 22 and Feb. 13 in Eagle Harbor.

The property damaged by arson earlier this year included a home, a golf maintenance facility, two pick-up trucks, a pleasure boat, two dumpsters, a wooden swing set, and an area of brush and woods.

At around 2 a.m. Monday, Clay County deputies responded to the suspect’s family home after his father reported that gasoline had been poured throughout the residence but had not been ignited. Investigators reportedly determined that Bird intentionally poured the gas and then fled the home. Bird was arrested at his home a short time later.

Subsequent to an interview, Bird was charged with criminal mischief for the actions at his parent’s home. He was also charged with arson for his reported admitted involvement in the burning of the pleasure boat at the Eagle Harbor swim park. His involvement in the remaining fires is being evaluated as the investigation continues.

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