Waxahachie police arrested a 16-year-old female in connection with two fires on Friday, Jan. 17.
After refusing her right to an attorney, she confessed before a judge that she had intentionally set fire to a residence on the northeast corner of Eggar and Bateman Streets. in Waxahachie. An anonymous tipster led police to find and detain the juvenile suspect.
Waxahachie firefighters extinguished the house fire, which consumed much of the structure and then put out a small grass fire. At the time, it was believe that embers from the house fire blew over into a field near Peters Street. The second fire is now under investigation.
The house was reported as vacant, and appears to have been for a while, John Rodgers, Waxahachie fire department battalion chief said. Damages are estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 and the fire started in the front bedroom, Crecelius said.
Someone called the Waxahachie police department at about 5 p.m., saying they knew who started the fire. One police officer found the female walking around, and as the officer approached, she ran, said Crecelius.
The officer caught up with her and detained her for questioning at the police department. Being a minor, police could not question with the female about the incident or her rights. As standard procedure, she was brought before a judge who read her rights, at which time she openly confessed to the crime.
The female was booked into the Ellis County Juvenile Services detention center, where those brought in can only be held for 72 hours max. She will appear in juvenile court Tuesday, Jan. 21 where the judge will decide if she will be detained for a certain amount of time or released under supervised probation.
Last week, Waxahachie fire officials asked for the publicís help to find a possible arsonist in connection with two fires, a month apart, at Penn Park Youth Center in the 400 block of Getzendaner St. The center is located about a mile from where Fridayís fires took place.
The Waxahachie Fire Department has not stated whether there is any possible connection between these incidents.