Villa youth did not deliberately set fire to abandoned house, report clarifies; instead, their fire-play got out of control

Contrary to media reports, a house in Villa was not deliberately set alight by a group of young children. Rather, reports say, a fire they lit appears to have gotten out of control and spread to the nearby abandoned building.

Reportedly, an anonymous caller advised the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) that he had seen four young men setting fire to the unoccupied house at about 9:15 a.m. on May 26, and officers from the St. John’s Fire Station rushed to the scene.

When they arrived, they saw what appeared to be smoke damage to the eastern side of the house; however, reportedly, the fire had already been extinguished by a set of volunteers.  

Reports said that at least four youth had been seen setting the house ablaze, and they had run after being spotted.

It is alleged that two of the offenders were caught, and one of them was an 11-year-old.

However, a source says that a 16-year-old and the 11-year-old – who are siblings from Villa – told the Police they were lighting copper on a piece of galvanize, with two other friends, and the fire got out of control.

Reportedly, some adults helped to put out the fire, the teenager told the Police.

Fire officers reportedly examined the house and saw smoke damage to a small portion on the eastern side and burnt copper wire on a sheet of galvanize. 

Both minors were taken into police custody and handed over to their mother.