15-year-old arrested for arson - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

15-year-old arrested for arson

July 15, 2003

Albany-- A 15-year-old girl is charged with setting the fire at the Wynnsong Cinema in Albany.

She was turned in by friends that were with her at the movie theater that night and the group had been hanging out there all day. This is where an arsonist took a lighter and lit a cloth and foam movie chair on fire Sunday morning. The flames caught quickly on the highly flammable material, and there is smoke damage in the theater.

Investigators say the girl is responsible, and that she had plenty of time to set the fire. Albany Fire Chief James Carswell says, "The information we got from one of the girls was that they had saw five movies that day."

The teen and her friends spent most of Saturday and into the early morning hours of Sunday at the movie theater without adult supervision. Carswell says, "Undoubtedly they were dropped off early and jumped from one movie to the other and of course the fire happened after one o'clock at night they were there most of the day."

After theater owners offered a ten thousand dollar reward, the teen's friends told on her. Carswell says, "Basically from the information we got from the tip line we were able to interview some of the people that were there when the fire started. Based on that interview we were able to arrest the one that actually used the lighter to light the chair on fire."

The movie complex is open now, but it was closed all of Sunday and half of Monday while repairs were made on the sprinkler system. Just how much business the movie theater lost is unknown, but fire damages are estimated at $35,000. The tipsters could get $10,000 if their friend is convicted.

Posted at 4:20 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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