A middle school student was arrested Wednesday in connection with the suspected arson of a Lake Worth cottage and likely will have his first court appearance Friday afternoon.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue investigators connected that juvenile to a fire that broke out at 710 S. D St. in Lake Worth on Monday.
While witnesses reported seeing two young people running from the property, only one has been taken into custody. Authorities arrested him at Lake Worth Middle School on charges of first-degree arson of an unoccupied dwelling and took him to the Juvenile Assessment Center. The Palm Beach County State Attorney will decide whether adult charges will be filed.
The second person seen running from the property has been linked to another arson which occurred March 30 at 723 S. E St., one block away from the first suspected arson.
While rushing to extinguish that fire, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Engine 91 was involved in a traffic crash with a 1999 Honda Accord. The wreck happened at Lucerne Avenue and Dixie Highway when the firetruck went through a red light on Lucerne with its lights and sirens activated. The Accord had a green light on Dixie and hit the firetruck.
Three firefighters received minor injuries and the driver of the Honda was flown to Delray Medical Center in serious condition.
Crews who were able to respond to the fire found heavy smoke and fire coming from the abandoned home.
Investigators believe that “several” other juveniles were involved in setting that fire. Those involved face charges of first-degree arson and charges related to injuries of those involved in the wreck.
A fire broke out Wednesday night at the same abandoned home, which investigators believe started on mattresses in a bedroom. A Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesman said an investigator has not yet determined if the cause was arson.
Anyone with information on these or any fires, should contact Crimestoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS (8477) or Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Investigations Division.
Staff writer Julius Whigham II contributed to this story.