190. Boy Starts Huge Fire

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A ten-year-old boy confessed to his parents that was playing with matches on a windy day October in southern California. The Santa Ana winds howling that day, and his carelessness resulted in Witch fire. That fire destroyed 18,000 acres of and 12 homes. The total damage and the of firefighting efforts were estimated at $25 million. , his parents’ house was untouched by the fire.
authorities did not immediately announce what they would to the boy or his parents. An official the district attorney’s office said that, probably, no charges would be filed. But the parents would be liable for civil charges. That is, victims sue for their losses and rebuilding costs. Suing middle-class family for millions would be the easy , though; collecting the millions would be unlikely.
Homeowners on what should be done. “I don’t have house anymore,” said John Ritter. “It will take least two years to build a new house, my insurance is only going to pay about the cost of the new house. Ordinarily, I say that the boy and his parents ought be put in jail for at least 10 . But because their house didn’t burn down, I the law should just allow me to trade with them. They can have my burned-down house, I can move into their house. That’s fair for me.”
“We all make mistakes, especially when ’re young,” said Michael Richards, another homeowner whose house down. “I remember setting my sister on fire I was about 10. I didn’t mean to it, of course, and she jumped into the , so she was okay. But it could have a terrible accident. I think the poor boy learned a valuable lesson. People should forgive, rebuild, get on with their lives.”