A young woman has been arrested and charged with aggravated child neglect and arson after her car caught fire at a Florida mall with her children inside. Alicia Moore, 24, allegedly left her kids unattended in the vehicle while she was reportedly shoplifting at the Oviedo Mall on May 26.
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According to a report filed by the Oviedo Police Department, Moore had parked her car in a lot outside the Dillard’s department store. Witnesses said that she and an unidentified man were caught shoplifting by mall security. After about an hour, she exited the store only to discover her car engulfed in flames.
While the exact cause of the fire is unknown, a video captured by a Tesla dashcam in the mall’s parking lot shows the intense blaze as flames and smoke burst from the car’s shattered back windows and front windshield.
Fortunately, onlookers at the mall noticed the fire and acted swiftly to rescue the frightened children who were desperately trying to escape the burning vehicle. The kids were promptly rushed to the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children for medical attention.
While they survived the fire, one of the children suffered first-degree burns to her face and ears, as stated in the arrest report.
Authorities have charged Moore with aggravated child neglect, asserting that she knowingly left her young children alone in a car, unable to care for themselves. The report does not disclose the names or ages of the children. Their number is also unclear.
The police investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. While the exact details remain uncertain, law enforcement officials have mentioned that if Moore had not been negligent, it is highly unlikely that the children would have suffered any harm. The arson charges resulted from the fact that the fire started while she was reportedly committing a crime.
Moore is now being represented by the public defender’s office, as per court documents. As the case unfolds, concerned individuals who see a woman that failed at her responsibility as a mother await further developments and hope for justice to be served for the sake of the innocent children involved.