Four youth arrested in vacant house fire

Christopher Gooding
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SPRINGHILL – Four young people have been charged with arson after two fires were set within three days of one another.

The four youths were apprehended Monday afternoon by Springhill Police as a house on Church Street was being destroyed by fire.

Springhill Fire Chief Tom Corkin said there was little doubt Monday’s fire and another at the former miners lamp cabin on Main Street on Saturday were arson.

“They’re both suspicious circumstances,” Corkin said, as firefighters doused ruble on Church Street. “In this case, power was going to the meter but not inside. At the lamp cabin, the back of the building was open and, again, there was no power to the building.”

Springhill Police Service acting-chief Dean Ruddick confirmed Tuesday that four people were arrested and charged for the fires.

“We arrested four youth; two were remanded into custody overnight and will appear in court this morning and two are scheduled to appear in court Jan. 5,” Ruddick said. “All four were charged with break and enter with intent and arson.”

During Tuesday’s court appearance, one individual had family in the courtroom, while the other did not. The latter didn’t wish to speak to counsel before proceeding to a show cause hearing, however changed his mind when his co-accused requested time to speak to the duty counsel with Legal Aid.

Both were released on individual undertakings and ordered to return to court. One will appear early next month, while the other is scheduled for January.

A throwback to Springhill’s mining days, the lamp cabin, a building where miners stored equipment and washed up after a long days work, caught fire on Saturday at about 3 p.m.

The site was under review by an independent committee for renovation and preservation. Saturday’s fire did dampen spirits but first-impressions are the building can still be salvaged.

“The fire seemed to originate in the central section, where the addition to the lamp cabin was made in 1945,” Brian Herteis, town engineer and member of the volunteer committee to restore the building, said. “There was some staging from the music festival that was in storage where the fire was lit but, just looking quickly on Sunday, structurally I don’t think there’s any issues but I’m not trained to make the final say on that.”

A meeting with the committee responsible for trying to revitalize the building is scheduled for this week to determine what their next step will be.

Prior to the fire time had already taken its toll on the building. Roofing tiles and the floor were in dire need of being replaced while outside tarps were being used to keep the elements out of the building on its west-end.

Organizations: Springhill Police Service

Geographic location: Church Street

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