Palm Bay juvenile faces charges after fire

Palm Bay juvenile faces charges after fire

18 February 2010

published by

USA —  An 11-year-old boy will face a juvenile court judge after Palm Bay police said he used a lighter to set a fire that scorched several empty lots late Wednesday.

No one was injured and no property was damaged.

Police also say the brush fire was not related to a series of more than 60 suspicious fires set across the city since November and warn residents to remain on guard.

Fire officials suggest more than half of those suspicious fires may be linked to the same person or copycats.

The boy faces misdemeanor charges related to the fire. Police did not release his name because of his age.

“This is a situation where a child failed to realize the consequences of his actions,” said Detective Chris Imel in a statement.

“His parents were cooperative and this situation does not appear to be related to any other fires in the area.”

Police said the fire was reported about 5 p.m. Wednesday near the intersections of Lakeland Avenue and Finkle Street in the southwest section of the city.

Two teens who saw the blaze alerted authorities. Palm Bay fire crews responded and doused flames.

The Palm Bay Fire Marshal and police were called to the site. It was determined that this fire was not connected to the string of suspicious blazes.

“This child was fortunate the fire he started did not damage or destroy someone’s home orpersonalproperty,” said Maj. John Blackledge of the Criminal Investigations Division.

“Had there been damage the crime would have been a more serious felony crime. We are using a zero tolerance approach when it comes to these fires.”

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