Police: Juveniles admit to starting Tuesday blazePublished 8:31pm Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Moments after emergency and law enforcement officials responded to the roaring fire at 402 Alabama Ave. Tuesday, witnesses were providing information that would ultimately lead to the arrest of two suspects tied to starting the blaze.
“When we got to the scene, a witness came to us and gave us the physical descriptions of two individuals who had been around the house before the fire started,” Sgt. Kendal Thomas with the Selma Police Department said. “Moments later, we were able to locate those two individuals a few blocks away from the fire and took them into custody.”
Thomas said the two juvenile males were taken back to the Selma Police Department, where their parents were then contacted. After their parents were notified and present, authorities interviewed the suspects.
“During the interview, the two individuals admitted to going to the house at 402 Alabama Ave. with the clear intention of setting the house on fire,” Thomas said.
He said the two brought with them to the house a mixture of charcoal fluid and gasoline that they then reportedly poured throughout the entire house before setting it on fire and leaving.
The intensity of the fire was such that it quickly engulfed the abandoned house, quickly growing out of control.
It then spread to the neighboring house — 404 Alabama Ave. — which was occupied.
“Apparently, a passerby saw the house at 404 Alabama about to catch fire and went and notified the occupants that they needed to get out,” Thomas said. “Thankfully, there wasn’t anyone killed in this incident.”
The unidentified juveniles have both been charged with second-degree arson for setting fire to the house at 402 Alabama Ave. and have also been charged with first-degree arson for fire destroying the home at 404 Alabama Ave.
The difference between the two charges is the house at 404 Alabama Ave. was occupied unlike the 402 Alabama Ave. home at the time it caught fire, Thomas said.
Both suspects remain in custody and have been placed at the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center. There is no information on when they will make their first court appearance or if the District Attorney’s office will try to have the juveniles charged as adults.