LETHBRIDGE: Regional Police and fire officials fielded questions Wednesday afternoon regarding back to back fires set by youth in Lethbridge.
The first case Tuesday morning saw a garage fire on Rutgers Crescent cause $60,000 damage and kill a family dog. Then Tuesday night in an unrelated incident, two boys lit a couch on fire along the 1300 block of 23rd Avenue North. The fire spread to a nearby shed, causing about $1,500.
In the first incident a 15-year old has been charged criminally, however in the second the two youths, aged 7 and 8 will escape the justice system because they're under the age of 12.
Constable Brandon Terry with Regional Police noted that there are still options to send a message to the two children and others who may consider doing something similar, "Just because they are 7 and 8 years old doesn't mean we can't combat that. One of the big things is having Child and Family Services be involved, so that the parents are held accountable and that they are able to focus on proper parenting."
Lethbridge Fire Chief Brian Cornforth also noted that they have another program, which the two boys will be included in, called the Juvenile Fire Setter Program, "We bring the child in, we sit down and work with the parent and guardian, and establish a program for them to help understand what are some of the behaviors that are negative and how to get around those behaviors."
Cornforth pointed out that they also educate the children on just how quickly things can go wrong when playing with fire, telling them about the speed a fire can move at and about the possible lethal consequences to themselves and others.