Investigators: Boys Using Vacant House as Clubhouse Accidentally Started Fire

The fire on July 6 in the Buford area caused major damage at house.

Gwinnett County, Ga., fire & rescue
Gwinnett County, Ga., fire & rescue

Two juvenile boys were charged with second-degree criminal damage to property in connection with a July 6 fire in Buford that investigators initially believed was an act of arson.

Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said the boys (early teens) were responsible for causing a fire at a vacant house in the 5300 block of Nelson Brogdon Boulevard.

The house was considered a total loss due to the damage.

“The juveniles were attempting to use the vacant home as a clubhouse and constructed a makeshift torch to see in the dark,” Rutledge said in a emailed news release. “Burning material from the torch dropped on the floor in the main part of the house and ignited a small fire. The boys thought that they had stomped the fire out and continued looking about the rest of the house. While in the basement, the boys heard noises from upstairs and discovered the fire growing on the first floor.”

The boys escaped unharmed.

Investigators determined there was no malicious intent to cause the fire or damage the house. There were no additional charges.

The boys were released to their parents and the case was referred to the juvenile court system.


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