(YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz.) — An 11-year-old boy is facing multiple felony charges allegedly for starting a brush fire that destroyed two buildings and caused $30,000 worth of damage in Arizona.
The boy has been charged with arson, criminal damage, endangerment and a misdemeanor for reckless burning, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said.
The fire ignited on Saturday northeast of Camp Verde in the now-defunct Beaver Creek Golf Course. Two uninhabited structures were destroyed, and the fire crept within 20 feet of a nearby home, authorities said.
Witnesses reported that three boys were playing with aerosol cans and a lighter before the blaze erupted, the sheriff’s office said.
An investigation pointed to the 11-year-old suspect intentionally setting the fire as the two other boys tried to stop him and attempted to put out the fire before it got “out of control,” the sheriff’s office said.
“We truly hope this 11-year-old learned his lesson. Wildland crews and firefighters put their lives on the line to protect the residents in our community. YCSO is going to holding those responsible accountable,” Sheriff David Rhodes said in a statement.
Arizona is well into brush fire season, and authorities warned the public to be cautious of how easily these fires can ignite and spread.
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