Teen accused of lighting fire at group home charged with arson

Published: Thursday, July 11 2013 10:03 p.m. MDT

TAYLORSVILLE — A 17-year-old boy accused of setting a fire in his room at a group home has been charged with arson.

The boy had been living at the Chrysalis Group Home, 6278 S. Hurstbourne Circle, when on June 22 a staff member heard "crackling noises" coming from the boy's room, according to charges filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court.

Inside, they found a fire burning on or near a dresser next to the bed and the boy refusing to leave. The other occupants in the home were evacuated, and when staff members returned for the teen, he eventually agreed to come out, charges state. The boy hid in the backyard until police arrived.

The teen told investigators he didn't intend to hurt anyone else but was trying to kill himself, according to the charges. He said he started the fire by spraying deodorant on his clothing and lighting it on fire.

He is charged with second-degree felony arson.

Damage to the boy's room totaled about $135,000, charges state. The dresser, bedding, mattress and several electronic items were destroyed, and the walls and ceiling were damaged. Investigators located a lighter, charcoal briquettes and the remains of several cans of deodorant, charges state.

— McKenzie Romero

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