Red Oak boy arrested on arson charge


May 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Page County say a 12-year old Red Oak boy was charged with 1st degree arson Thursday, following a residential fire early that same morning in Red Oak. Fire Chief Rick Askey says the juvenile was charged after firefighters responded to the scene of a house fire at 104 West Maple at around 1:45 a.m.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, a heavy fire condition was observed in a second story bedroom, and a great deal of smoke was coming from the front and rear sides of the residence. Askey says they determined the intentionally set fire began with common combustibles, in an upper floor bedroom in the house’s northwest corner.

Six people lived in the home. All were able to escape without injury. Firefighters were able to knock down the blaze in less than two hours. The juvenile was in the house when the fire started, but Askey says the boy wasn’t not the first to recognize that a fire existed, or alert others to the danger.

Most of the damage to the home was confined to the upper floor bedroom. The entire house sustained smoke damage, though, while the bedroom where the fire began, and a living room on the first floor sustained water damage.

After State Fire Marshal John Ticer confirmed Red Oak Fire investigators’ suspicions about the cause of the blaze, the juvenile was questioned and later taken to the Council Bluffs Juvenile Detention Center.