Juveniles admit starting Atwater structure fire

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comOctober 26, 2012 

Three juveniles were taken into custody Wednesday after admitting to starting a structure fire in Atwater that caused an estimated $30,000 in damages, according to Atwater police Lt. Sam Joseph.

There are no injuries reported from the fire.

The fire was set Monday about 3 p.m. at a 2977 Winton Way building in Atwater, Joseph said. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Atwater police units were dispatched to the fire at a vacant commercial building.

Fire investigators were able to determine the blaze had been set by three high school students after watching surveillance tapes. Officers found the three Wednesday and brought them in for questioning.

According to authorities, the juveniles said they set the fire while "ditching school." They were released to their parents after being taken into custody, and face arson and conspiracy charges.

"Officers from these two agencies worked as a team" during the investigation that culminated in the two arrests, Joseph said.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service