Broward County

Suicidal man who torched an apartment complex and killed cats will now pay, judge rules

Nathan Counts
Nathan Counts Broward Sheriff’s Office

A Coral Springs man will serve five years in prison and have to pay more than $3 million in restitution for intentionally setting his apartment on fire, a federal judge recently ruled.

Nathan Counts, 40, pleaded guilty to arson in June, court records show.

Counts poured gasoline in the Coral Springs apartment that he shared with his fiancée and then used a cigarette lighter to set it on fire Feb. 12, police said at the time.

He told investigators he was depressed and suicidal because of a custody dispute.

The fire burned through their second-floor unit in the Ramblewood East Condo complex, 4119 NW 88th Ave., and spread throughout two buildings in the complex.

In all, 28 units were damaged and Counts’ three cats were killed because of the fire. Two weeks after the blaze, Counts was arrested on 59 charges, including arson and animal cruelty.

On Aug. 15, U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas sentenced Counts to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Counts must also pay $3,129,781.00 in restitution — the amount of the damage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.