Flagstaff PD: 12-year-old girl started fire behind apartments

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A 12-year-old Flagstaff girl is facing criminal charges after allegedly starting a fire behind a local apartment complex.

Flagstaff police said an officer responded to the Oakwood Village Apartments Thursday morning for a follow up investigation into Wednesday afternoon’s fire.

The officer spoke with employees at the leasing office who said that an anonymous resident had called them to say that they overheard a young girl admitting that she had caused the fire.

The officer was given the suspect’s name and address, and proceeded to speak with a 12-year-old girl and her guardian.

The girl initially denied any involvement, but then said she was not the one who started the fire, but was present when the fire was started.

Police said the officer went on to speak with the girl’s 9-year-old friend, who admitted that the two had been playing behind the complex when the 12-year-old found a cigarette lighter.

The 12-year-old reportedly decided to start lighting pine needles on fire, but the fire grew too fast so the girls ran off.

The officer told the 12-year-old what her friend had revealed, at which time the girl allegedly admitted to starting the fire.

The officer subsequently arrested and charged the girl with reckless burning.