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12-Year-Old Charged with Arson Following Two House Fires in Petoskey

Bay View Fire Damage
Bay View Fire Damage 2

On Monday, the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office and the Resort Bear Creek Fire Department responded to a the call of a fire at a home inside the Bay View Association in Petoskey.

Two days later around the same time, another fire broke out at another home just 3,000 feet away.

“Because they were back to back practically, you didn’t get much time to rest, you didn’t get much time to get your gear dried and clean so a lot of guys on the second fire had wet gear on and not much sleep,” said Al Welsheimer, Resort Bear Creek Fire Department Fire Chief.

Both fires were called in by the same person, a 12-year-old boy. He’s since been arrested and is being charged.

“He does live in the vicinity of that and they issued two counts of arson second degree and two counts of preparation to burn,” said Sheriff Peter Wallin.

Second degree arson is the charge when no one is in the home at the time of the fire, but it’s still considered a felony.

The Sheriff’s Department is pursuing another petition to file additional charges as they believe the 12-year-old tried to set another fire at a house next door to the first.

“We’ve caught this individual and hopefully we don’t have anymore fires like this,” said Sheriff Wallin. “It’s a loss of property, but we didn’t have a loss of life on this. So it’s up to the courts now.”

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