Two 14-year-olds accused of torching vacant house
OKEECHOBEE — Two youths were accused of torching an abandoned house in Dixie Ranch Acres on Friday evening. At approximately 6 p.m. Jan. 17, Okeechobee County Fire Rescue responded to a call regarding a structure fire on Northwest 89th Court. Station one responded and found the structure fully involved. Surrounding vegetation on the 2-acre property was also beginning to burn.
They found the house abandoned with no power connection. The structure was a total loss, but they were able to extinguish the fire.
Fire personnel on the scene were Jeremy McWhorter, David Avila, Christopher Piloto, Shannon Gagliardi, Adam Durrance, Justin Hazellief, Cory Stephen, Jessica Sasser, Mike Skipper, Jamie Gwilt, Jarrod Akins, Giancarlo Tunac, A.J. Pegler and Ryan Hathaway.
Two deputies on the scene reportedly witnessed two juveniles fleeing the scene. According to the arrest report, the abandoned three-bedroom home was 100% destroyed, burned to the ground by a torch. Capt. Hathaway indicated on his report that based on his training and experience, he believed the fire to be arson.
Jevon Peters, 14, Northwest 92nd Court, is a student at Yearling Middle School. He was arrested and charged with arson.
Logan Newman, 14, Northwest 84th Court, is a student at Okeechobee Achievement Academy. He was also charged with arson. Both boys were released to the custody of their parents.