Lehigh Acres teen showed no remorse for allegedly starting fire

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Brush fire burns in Lehigh Acres (Picture courtesy: Lehigh Acres Gazette)

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – The teenager facing first-degree arson charges for allegedly starting a fire showed no remorse after deputies told him a family’s home was destroyed, according to a report.

The 15-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday shortly after the 50-acre fire was contained. A report said he did “willfully and unlawfully cause damage to a dwelling by intentionally lighting pine needles ablaze.”

The family whose home was destroyed said they were not sure whether they would press charges.

“Where do I go from here? That was everything. Everything we owned,” the mother said.

She said she may not press charges because the kid made a mistake, but that mistake could cost him a felony record.

Local attorney Zachary Cantor said the teen’s age and the extent of the damage will likely play a large role in the case. It will still take more information for prosecutors to make a case for arson, the attorney said.

“People have incredibly limited information in regards to this case at this point,” Cantor said. “It’s very difficult to make a determination as to what’s going on and what this 15-year-old was actually doing out there in the woods.”

Deputies said the teenager was playing with a lighter near National Avenue South and Ravenswood Street East. His name has not been included in this story because he is a minor.

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