Juvenile charged in arson fire at Mexico gazebo

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MEXICO — A 13-year-old Mexico girl is charged with setting fire to the town gazebo behind the fire station, Police Chief Roy Hodsdon said Monday.

The girl was arrested Friday night on Main Street on a charge of arson and released to her parents, he said.

The fire, which was reported at 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, damaged one side of the structure before firefighters extinguished it, Fire Chief Gary Wentzell said. An estimate of damage was not immediately available.

Hodsdon said police Officer Caroline Casey received information Wednesday about possible suspects, contacted investigator Dan Young of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, who along with others joined in the investigation Thursday and Friday. Police Lt. Dan Carrier assisted state investigators with the arrest.

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A second girl is also being investigated, the chief said.

“Basically, what I’ve been told is that the other girl might have been with her, but just kind of stood there when she did it (started the fire),” he said.

“We were very disappointed,” Hodsdon said of the fire at the gazebo. “We hold our (domestic violence awareness) vigil there.”

The gazebo was built by volunteers using materials donated by a business. Besides picnics for residents, the gazebo is where baskets are given out after the children’s Easter Egg Hunt and where Dan Richard provides music for the annual Mexico Cruise-In.

Hodsdon said the investigation led to information about two other arson cases — a fire that destroyed an old abandoned camp on Coburn Avenue in December and a fire at the Hosmer Field bathrooms July 24 that caused $5,000 damage.

In all three fires, Hodsdon said, “None of them have been the same people.”

The investigations are continuing.

bfarrin@sunmediagroup.net

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