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  1. #1
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    Oct 2002
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    Unhappy juvenile arsonist???

    A 7-yr-old Murphysboro boy playing with matches destroyed his families home Sunday afternoon. Firefighters were called out to the Lyerla's home around 1:30pm when they arrived the home was engulfed in flames. The fire was quickly extinguished, but the home was destroyed.

    "I was in shock, I didn't think this could be happening," says Michelle Lyerla as she recalled standing and watching her home go up in flames. "He was playing with matches, he said his rain told him to do it."

    Michelle thought she had placed the matches in a place where her son Michael couldn't find them. "He'd played with them a couple of years ago, and I thought he had lost interest in it. But apparently he didn't. He had this in the back of his mind the whole time to burn down the house and that's what he did, he burned the house down," Lyerla said.

    Her son Michael tells Heartland News why he set his bed sheets on fire. " Because I wanted to and because my toys were stupid," says Michael. He says he wasn't even scared watching the flames roar through his home. "I was mad at him, I wanted to tear him up," said Michelle. "I couldn't believe it because that trailer was my inheritance from my grandpa and now I don't have anything." She and her son are staying with family members.

    They were both able to escape the fire unharmed. But the families cat died in the fire. The Murphysboro Fire Protection District Fire Chief William Bateman tells Heartland News that all of the evidence from the fire is being turned over to the State Fire Marshall's office for a complete investigation.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Default Mom wasn't a qualified intervention specialist!

    Outside of obviously needing basic necessities, such as clothing and shelter, BOTH mother and child need professional counselling. Mother so that she can recognize the warning signs that MORE COUNSELLING is required and the boy because he has to be taught not to play with fire even when his "brain tells him to". Tragic but the warning came two years earlier and mom made a poor decision not to get help then.
    I hope this has a happy ending.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    USFA stats reveal that 56% of all arson fires are set by children under the age of 18.

    For the best website around on juvenile firesetting intervention, go to www.sosfires.com.

  4. #4
    Senior Member raven911's Avatar
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    Default

    George is correct. I might also add that this number has been rising in recent years.
    IACOJ Military Division
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    "There are three kinds of men: The ones who learn by reading, the few who learn by observation, and the rest of them who have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

  5. #5
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default In other news

    Gee I wish I had the link, but the crux of the story was a parent calling in to a popular Chicago radio show berating a JFIS for doing an intervention on a child. This occurred in a very affluent area. The parent thought that it was wrong to do anything about a child who starts a fire. The claim was that the child was treated as an "arsonist". There is nothing further from the truth. I will look for the story and post it if I find it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member raven911's Avatar
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    Default

    It has been quite a while ago, but I once knew a family who's son had burned their house twice. It was in two different cities. He never started anything while he was in our district, but we expected it at any time. It was really sad the kid never got any help. Hopefully he grew out of it, but that is normally not the case. It usually leads to bigger problems.
    IACOJ Military Division
    NM Office
    ------------------------------------
    "There are three kinds of men: The ones who learn by reading, the few who learn by observation, and the rest of them who have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

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