Two Teens charged with arson in group home fire

Two Teens charged with arson in group home fire

TYLER (KYTX) - Two teenage boys are accused of setting fire to a youth center filled with girls in Marshall 2:00 Saturday morning.

The two boys are being held at a juvenile facility and are charged with arson. Group home organizers a the East Texas Open Doors Residential Youth Services said the steel door kept the flames from fully catching the house on fire.

Everyone made it out safely.

"They got out quick as soon as the alarms went off, I think they were out in like five minutes," said General Residential operator Laura Russell.
"It's just sad that they would endanger the lives of these girls," she said.

The assistant fire Marshal says the boys poured gasoline on the porch and the door before setting it on fire. The first responding officer used a fire extinguisher from his patrol car to get the brunt of the fire under control.

Fire crews later used water to smother the remaining flames that had risen through the house rafters.
 "It shot up through there and that is where that room is," said Russell.

Loretta Moore said her son is one of the boys involved. She's sorry for what she said her son has done and is thankful no one was hurt.

"He should have had second thoughts, what would happen if I do this," said Moore.

She said she is constantly trying to guide her 14-year-old son down the right path.

"He's had counseling and everything , but like I said I don't know what happened or what made him do this."   

Russell said, the boys arrested have a history of trouble at the home having thrown rocks that broke a window. After this though, she is pressing charges.

Something Moore hopes will make a difference in her son's life.

"I hope this turns him out...make him a better person."   

The home was insured. Investigators are working to find out why the boys set the home on fire in the first place.



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