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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Georgia, USA

    6-year-old started fire that killed 4 siblings

    (Conyers GA) Authorities said Friday, a 6-year-old boy started the fire (1/8/13) that killed his four siblings. However, he will not face criminal charges. Georgia law states that no one can be convicted of a crime who was younger than 13 at the time of the offense.

    “We have had preliminary discussions with the district attorney of Rockdale County, and it’s his belief that this 6-year-old and any 6-year-old cannot form the criminal intent to be prosecuted in juvenile court,” Rockdale County Fire and Rescue Chief Dan Morgan said at a news conference Friday afternoon."

    The 6-year-old was playing with a lighter in the upstairs hallway of the family’s duplex while his mother and the other children slept in two adjacent bedrooms. Killed in the blaze were children ages 9, 7, 3 and 8-months. The mother remains in Grady Memorial Hospital with burns over 40 percent of her body.

    Experts suggested that the boy undergo psychological tests to help determine whether the fire was an accident, a bit of mischievous play or an intentional act of violence. Bartow County Juvenile Court Judge Tilley said “Clearly this child is not safe I think there will be state oversight. They will make sure this child gets what he needs.”

    Investigators said the only smoke alarm in the duplex was downstairs and that it had no battery in it. The state fire marshal said smoke detectors must be placed outside any sleeping area. However, the landlord will face no liability, because the law carries no penalties for a first offense. It provides a $25 fine for a second offense. (really, $25? Fellow Georgians, did you know this?!?! On the other hand, how can you prevent renters removing or not replacing the battery?)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    How tragic! I hope the boy gets the help he needs and hope the mother recovers...

    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    That's so terribly sad. My oldest nephew when he was only a few years old set his younger brother's crib on fire when he was playing with matches while his parents slept. His brother was burned quite badly and had to spend time in the hospital and then at a relative's house recovering before going home again. The 6 year old might not have realized the danger of fire and the amount of damage it can do. Did the 6 year old escape unharmed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Whidbey Island, Washington
    Don't think the mother will recover from her wounds even if she "recovers" from her wounds. She lost her babies......

  5. #5
    keeponsearching's Avatar
    keeponsearching is offline The mighty Oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Very sad. My sister at a young age was playing with a lighter to, my parents caught the small fire in the living room. I am huge on checking my fire alarms, I wish more people were as crazy as I am when it comes to checking daily. I doubt this 6 year old did it on purpose.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I feel for her so much. I agree that young children should not be prosecuted for crimes. No batteries in a smoke detector???? UGH.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    New England
    I'm not sure about the state, but my city requires all smoke alarms in rental properties to be hard wired, with battery as a back up on each floor of the residence and outside the sleeping areas.

    Lighters should not be accessible when you have young children in the house. Children are facinated by fire. I remember playing with matches as a kid. (Glad I never set anything on fire!) I'm sure the Mom is going to have guilt for the rest of her life.

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