A 13-YEAR-OLD youth arrested Dec. 16 in connection with a fire earlier that day at the former Yellow House retail outlet on Hwy16 has been charged with arson and theft.
The same youth faces arson charges tied to five other recent fires around town, including two arson attempts on the Best Western and one at George Little House.
He also had a warrant out for his arrest after failing to show up in court Dec. 6 to answer to those earlier charges.
The teen, who cannot be named or identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, had not been found by police until after the Yellow House building fire.
Staff Sgt. Robert Pritchett said the arrest took place during a patrol by officers of the area following the Yellow House fire.
They found two youths lighting a fire in a carport of a house on Haugland, he said.
Pritchett said officers found items linking them to the Yellow House fire and items that came from thefts from vehicles.
The second youth detained by police cannot be charged at 11-years-old; that’s because the Youth Criminal Justice Act doesn’t apply until a youth reaches 12-years-old, said Pritchett.
The 13-year-old was remanded in custody for court earlier this week with numerous recommended charges, he said.
The 11-year-old was turned over to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, said Pritchett.
City firefighter Lieu. Dean Prins said the call concerning the Yellow House fire came at about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 16.
“When we arrived on scene, smoke was coming from the building; it was definitely a fire,” he said.
“From what we could tell, it originated in the basement.”
Prins described the blaze as suspicious given the building had been vacant for some time.
Prins said the fire spread from the basement to the main floor of the old, wooden structure.
“There’s extensive damage,” he said of the interior of the building.
The fire did not spread to the outside of the building.
Whether the building’s structure remained sound was still to be determined, Prins added.
The blaze was the fourth early morning call out for Terrace firefighters last week.
There were two faulty alarms at Caledonia Senior Secondary School and there was a fire in the engine compartment of a Kalum Kabs taxi.
The Yellow House business shifted to the Skeena Landing commercial complex last year and is now called the Flying Fish.