12-year-old charged with 8 arson counts

A 12-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos boy was in juvenile detention Friday charged with eight counts of arson.

East Fork Fire Capt. Terry Taylor said the boy was taken into custody Thursday night following a fire at 1305 Yellowjacket Lane in the Ranchos.

"During the course of the investigation which was conducted with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, we developed some juvenile persons of interest in the area," Taylor said.

The 12-year-old and a 13-year-old were stopped at Bluerock Park. The younger boy was taken into custody and the 13-year-old was released to his father, Taylor said.

"We found evidence during suppression activity and subsequent investigation at the scene of evidence of fires being lit behind other homes in the area," Taylor said.

The Yellowjacket fire was reported at 5:45 p.m. and personnel responded from East Fork and Ranchos fire departments, seasonal firefighters and Ranchos volunteers.

"There was pretty severe damage to 75 feet of wood fence at 1305 Yellowjacket," Taylor said. "Being in the older part of the Ranchos, we also were concerned about the wood shake roof."

Taylor said the boy was suspected of setting several brush fires.

"This one got out of hand," he said.

The boy is to appear in juvenile court Tuesday.

With the summer's tinder-dry conditions, Taylor asked the community to watch and report any suspicious activity.

"We need to keep a better eye on our children, especially now when they are running around during the summer. Dry grasses, dry wood and wind are not a good mix," Taylor said.

Anyone who observes or suspects arson or use of fireworks should call 911, Taylor said.

"If you think there is suspicious activity, call the sheriff's office. We will always respond," Taylor said.


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