Ridgecrest man sets fire to home with children inside

Ridgecrest man sets fire to home with children insideBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Ridgecrest Police officers arrested a Ridgecrest man on Friday, June 25, after he allegedly set fire to a mobile home with five people inside – two of which were reportedly his own children.

According to an RPD release, officers arrived on the scene Friday morning where they were told that 25-year-old Gilbert “Alec” Duran had doused the mobile home with gasoline and set it on fire with his children, their mother Daisy Maldonado, and other family members inside.

According to the Kern County Fire Department, firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames which had also spread to a car. The family reportedly escaped unharmed, but lost their home. One pet was severely burned while others perished according to the release.

Maldonado’s sister, Jessica, set up a GoFundMe to help the family replace some of their belongings and find a temporary place to stay: https://gofund.me/f660dcf1

“They worked so hard on their home and it was just ripped away from them,” said Jessica. “We are also looking for prayers if you have no money to donate.”

She added the family needed girls clothes (size 6/7), boys clothes (size 4/5), and women’s shirts (size S and XL) and pants (size 1/2 and 18).

Duran reportedly fled the scene but was located and taken into custody shortly thereafter by RPD officers and detectives. KCFD arson investigators assisted in the incident. He faces a litany of felony charges, including attempted murder, arson, child cruelty, cruelty to animals, vandalism and a misdemeanor charge of false identification.

He is being held without bail. Court dates were not available at press time.

Laura Austin photo: Kern County Firefighters extinguish the flames from a mobile home fire caused by suspected arsonist Gilbert “Alec” Duran. The five victims inside the home reportedly made it out with no injuries.

Story First Published: 2021-07-02