8-year-old arrested for setting New London fires

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An 8-year-old boy suspected of setting fires has been arrested.

Burn marks can still be seen above the outside door of an apartment at 286 Eugene O’Neill Drive. The woman who lives there didn’t want to be identified but did show News8 where a fire was also set outside her hallway door and in a common area of the building.

“Monday six o’clock my husband he go to work,” she said. “He… fire. Paper big paper here.”

That paper fire wasn’t reported to the fire department but when the outside door was set on fire July 26th just days later firefighters were called in.

“The fires themselves were all minor in nature but the fires were set in a building that’s an apartment building that has twenty apartments in it,” said New London Fire Marshal Vernon Skau.

Firefighters soon learned that another fire using paper was also set in a car parked along the Federal Street side of the complex on July 30th and surveillance video led investigators to an eight year old boy.

“That is absolutely scary because like I said where was… where was the mother where was the parents at?” questioned neighbor Monaris Rivera.

“You know that the parents aren’t taking… aren’t taking care of him. I have kids too,” said Joel Pabon who lives in the building where the fires were set.

The woman who lives in the affected apartment says she was just sitting on the couch with her husband and child watching TV when they heard sizzling. They could actually hear the fire and smell it right through the door.
    
The child was charged with reckless burning and criminal mischief. Because he is a juvenile he is not being identified.

“It’s not a normal path that we would like to go down,” said Skau. “But sometimes if you have to criminally charge someone to get the help that they need that’s the direction you have to take.”

“He doesn’t need jail time he needs help honestly,” said Rivera. “He needs… his mother needs more help.”

No one was injured in any of the fires. 

New London Fire Chief Henry Kidd tells News 8 the fires are still under investigation.

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