Jacksonville man accused of setting fire to home with 2 children inside


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 19-year-old man was arrested Friday and charged with arson hours after Jacksonville Fire-Rescue put out a fire at a Southside mobile home.

Julien Claflin was charged with arson and -- because two children were in the home at the time -- also aggravated child neglect.

Division of Investigative and Forensic Services’ Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations detectives responded to a fire at a home on Merrywood Drive, near the Philips Highway interchange with Interstate 295. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office detectives found a suspect near the home.

The detectives said Claflin admitted that he poured tiki-torch fuel he found in a shed onto the carpet and setting it on fire. The two children inside were able to get out without injury.

“Arson is a dangerous crime, and this case is alarming as the home was occupied at the time of the incident,” said Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.

Claflin was ordered held on $75,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 50 years in prison.