Three Spring Branch minors charged with arson
A mobile home fire in Spring Branch on Friday, June 11, was determined to be arson and the Comal County Sheriff's Office has charged three juveniles, two males, ages 15 and 14, and one female, age 14, have been charged.
On Friday, June 11, 2004, at approximately 4:30 PM, the Sheriff's Office received a telephone call about a structure fire located in the 6000 Block of Apache Moon, Indian Hills Subdivision, Spring Branch, Texas. The Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched along with deputies. Deputies were the first to arrive and were on the scene in less than two (2) minutes. A very observant neighbor informed the deputies that she had seen three individuals walk down the street, enter the property where the structure fire was located and then she lost sight of them for several minutes before she saw them emerged from the property and walk down the street. It was then that she saw smoke coming from the residence. With the information provided the deputies were able to locate and detain the three individuals.
Spring Branch VFD arrived on scene and found an unoccupied mobile home engulfed in flames and began fire suppression efforts and requested assistance from Canyon Lake Fire/EMS. During these suppression efforts one of the fireman, Danny Ray, was slightly injured when he fell through the floor of one of the bedrooms. He suffered scrapes and a 1st degree burn to the back of his right calf.
The Comal County Fire Marshal's Office was called to the scene and investigators were able to determine that the three individuals that were detained were responsible for the fire. One male was 14 years of age and the other male was 15 and the female was also 14 years of age.
All three juveniles were taken before Judge Jennifer Saunders, Justice of the Peace, Pct.4, and charged with Arson and Criminal Trespass. All three were magistrated and released to the custody of their parents. The three juveniles and their parents are expected to meet with investigators for formal booking on Monday morning and then juvenile authorities will be contacted.
The estimated damage to the mobile home is $30,000 and it is a total loss. Criminal Trespassing is a Class B Misdemeanor and Arson is a 2nd Degree Felony, but at the time of trial if the structure is shown to be a habitation the punishment is increased to a 1st Degree Felony. Also, the injury to the firefighter can cause the punishment to be increased from a 2nd Degree to a 1st Degree Felony.