Runaway charged in arson

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A 13-year-old runaway accused of setting fires in a Suffolk church over the weekend is being held at Western Tidewater Detention Center.

The Suffolk juvenile is charged with setting four fires in the boiler room of East End Baptist Church, 523 E. Washington St., early Sunday, said Capt. James T. Judkins, spokesman for the Suffolk Fire Department. The church custodian discovered the fires, which burned out before doing any damage, Monday afternoon, he added.


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The teenager is charged with trespassing, breaking and entering with the intent to commit arson, and burning a meeting house.

Two fires were set on the floor, one on a wall shelf and one in the electric panel box, said Fire Investigator Pam King. Paper, cloth and wooden matches were used to set the fires.

&uot;That church is so, so lucky,&uot; Judkins said. &uot;I can’t tell you how fortunate the church is for those fires to have burned out.&uot;

The incident was not racially motivated, he said.