Teen charged with setting fire to child support centre

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The 17-year-old girl who was detained by police after a fire damaged a child support centre has been charged with malicious damage, says police public information officer Sheridon Hill.

He said the teenager is expected to appear virtually before a juvenile court on Monday.

Early on Thursday morning, the fire officers received a report of a fire at a child support centre at Crown Street, Tacarigua.

Police said around 1.30 am a security guard saw a girl destroying items in the front office, and then pulling out exposed electrical wiring which caused sparks and started a fire. The guard tried to extinguish the fire but was unsuccessful and alerted staff who evacuated the building.

The top floor of the two-storey building was damaged but no one was injured. The Children’s Authority temporarily transferred the 18 girls who were staying at the centre to another home.

A member of the Fire Service said the investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing but a determination was imminent.

“We have two probable causes because of the amount of damage. Anything can light once it reaches its ignition temperature so due to the extent of burns we got the area of origin we cannot yet determine what really caused it – a direct application of a flame or an electrical shortage.”

The Fire Service continues to work with the police on the matter.

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