12-year-old girl charged with arson in connection with 2 fires in Suffolk, including one at a school


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 12-year-old girl has been charged in connection with two fires in October including one at an elementary school in Suffolk.

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According to a recent press release from Suffolk Fire Marshal, Battalion Chief Chris Cornwell, the 12-year-old has been charged with arson of an occupied dwelling in connection with the fire at Florence Bowser Elementary School on October 27.

The girl is also being charged with arson of an occupied dwelling regarding the fire on S. Main Street on October 5.

The first fire occurred just after 4:30 a.m. on October 5 in the 300 block of S. Main Street. When they got to the scene, Suffolk fire crews found no smoke or fire visible from the home, but reported a “disturbance” on the front porch.

Suffolk police arrived and secured the scene and firefighters eventually found there were several fires inside. The fires were out, but there was still smoke.

No injuries were reported in connection with the first fire and no residents were displaced.

The second incident occurred on October 27 when fire crews got a call around 2:35 p.m. regarding a fire at Florence Bowser Elementary School.

The fire was contained to a trash can attached to the wall of the girl’s bathroom on the second floor of the school. The school had been evacuated and the fire was out before crews got to the scene.

After further investigation, Suffolk Fire Marshal Battalion Chief Chris Cornwell confirmed that the fire was intentionally set.

Suffolk Fire questioned two female students, an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old, in connection to the incident while accompanied by their parents.

Officials say the investigations into both fires are still ongoing. Additional charges are pending.

Those with information can submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, downloading the P3 tips app to a mobile device, or visiting www.P3tips.com and submitting a tip.

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