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May 31,2007
Two teens charged with arson in SE Bend home fire
by Cheryl McDermott

Two 16-year-olds who admitted to starting a fire on the back porch of a southeast Bend home yesterday afternoon while experimenting with gasoline and a magnifying glass have been charged with first-degree arson, officials reported.

Bend Fire crews responded to the home of Raoul and Carol Larrinaga at 307 SE Springer Court about 3:30 p.m. May 30, Fire Inspector Cindy Kettering wrote in an incident report.  The fire was already out upon their arrival, and was limited to the rear of the structure, a covered porch, and a fence.  No one was injured, Kettering said.

Investigation determined that the fire was human-caused, and the two teenagers admitted to starting the fire as they played with a container of gasoline and a magnifying glass.  The inspector estimated $4,000 damage to the $250,000 structure, with an additional $500 damage to contents.

The unidentified juveniles were arrested and transported to the Deschutes County Juvenile Detention Facility by Bend Police officers.

“Fire play is a serious issue,” Kettering said.  The Bend Fire Department urges parents to educate their children on the dangers of fire and fire play, and to keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.  “If you have a child who exhibits fire-setting behavior, local fire departments have resources available to help,” she said.

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