Clearwater, Florida — Clearwater Police detectives have charged a middle school student with a Sunday brush fire that charred part of Forest Run Park.
The eighth-grader, who is 14 years old, was taken into custody Wednesday after being questioned by detectives. The teenager reportedly told a detective that he was playing around with a spray can and a lighter and trying to burn bugs and leaves. He said the blaze then got out of control.
He was charged with intentional or reckless burning of lands. Detectives say he has not been charged with arson because an arson charge must be related to a structure or actual tangible property.
He was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
Firefighters from Clearwater Fire & Rescue were joined by other agencies in fighting the blaze for multiple hours Sunday afternoon and evening. Crews from Largo, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor and Oldsmar assisted in the effort.