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Five Pensacola Juveniles Charged with Arson, Burglary

1/11/2008

CONTACT:  Nina Banister
                 (850) 413-2842
 
PENSACOLA—Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink announced today that five juveniles are facing arson and burglary charges following an investigation into a  fire that destroyed a commercial building on January 3.  No injuries were reported.
 
The arrests, which occurred today, are the result of a joint investigation by the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, the Pensacola Fire Department and the Pensacola Police Department.  The juveniles, ages 8 to 13, were processed through the Escambia County Jail and subsequently turned over to the Juvenile Justice Center in Pensacola.
 
“Playing with fire not only is dangerous but also can lead to criminal charges, as these children have unfortunately learned,” said CFO Sink.  “I am just very relieved that no one was injured.”
 
The juveniles allegedly destroyed Markham Sign Company, located at 1000 West Government St., after they broke in and started lighting matches or a cigarette lighter they found, flipping the lit matches throughout the front office and eventually igniting some loose papers inside the office.  The business was determined to be a total loss, with damages estimated at $150,000.
 
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.  Anyone with information about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).