10-Year-Old Charged With Arson

Their glow inspires glee around the Fourth of July, but Hartford firefighters say a sparkler proved destructive on Sunday, igniting a fire that destroyed a three-family home on Broad Street. if(typeof(dstb)!= "undefined"){ dstb();}

Now a 10-year-old boy has been charged with third-degree arson, accused of sparking the blaze.

"I think it's kind of the right idea to arrest him, but then again, you wonder if you knew what he was doing," said Destinee Jackson of Hartford.

Captain Ronald Chance, of the Hartford Fire Department, said the boy threw a lit sparkler onto the second floor porch and  ignited a blanket. 

Within minutes, the porch was on fire and flames quickly spread to the third floor.

After extensive smoke and water damage, the home was declared unlivable.

 Thirteen people had to gather what they could and find a new place to stay. The young boy is being held responsible.

"The good thing is he'll learn his lesson and not do it again, but the bad thing is he's a child. He's going to have to learn a hard way," said Thomas Galberth, who lives nearby. Some of the neighborhood children learned too.

Luis Velez and Erick Lozada were riding their bikes down Broad Street when they stopped to look at the boarded-up home, getting a valuable lesson that sparklers can be dangerous.

"It changes my mind now," Luis Velez said. "I'm kind of scared of them."

"I am going to try to let my mom light it for me and then put it on the ground, cause I can't hold sparkles no more," Erick Lozada said.

Destinee Jackson walked by holding her 7-year-old brother's hand.

With the Fourth of July around the corner, she said, they will have sparklers at her house.

"I let my brother use them, but I don't go too far away from him. I'm there when he's there," Jackson said.

Connecticut law says you must be at least 16 to buy or use sparklers.

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