Fire ruled arson

A state fire marshal's investigator has ruled the 23 Newton St. fire was an arson. "The state fire marshal office is only doing that portion of the investigation … and has turned that (information) to the police department so they can finish the investigation,' spokesman Shane Cartmill said. "So our investigation is basically done.'
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


A state fire marshal’s investigator has ruled the 23 Newton St. fire was an arson.

“The state fire marshal office is only doing that portion of the investigation … and has turned that (information) to the police department so they can finish the investigation,” spokesman Shane Cartmill said. “So our investigation is basically done.”

Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen has called the Sept. 21 incident “a suspicious fire,” saying two 10-year-old Norwalk girls set it. He had hoped to have the case closed by the end of the week, but was unavailable for further comment.

Once detectives complete their investigation, they are expected to forward a report to Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler’s office for the consideration of charges. Leffler was unavailable for comment.

Cashen said he hoped the judicial system would get the girls the counseling “help they need so this won’t happen again.” As of Wednesday, he didn’t know if the girls would be charged because of their age.

The girl accused of starting the fire lives in the same Newton Street apartment complex where the Sept. 21 fire occurred. The other girl is a Baker Street resident.

The Baker Street girl’s mother said her daughter told her the other girl “found a blue lighter and started a fire.” The woman also said her daughter didn’t tell her they started the fire until after an interview with detectives.

“They had reports they saw two little girls ... running out of the building. Shortly after that, the fire started,” the woman said.

The daughter, right after the Sept. 21 fire, said she and her friend rode their bicycles directly to her Baker Street home after the blaze started. The fire, contained to one unit, caused about $20,000 worth of damage. There were no injuries.

The Baker Street mother also has said she believes her daughter didn’t start the fire because she made mannerisms associated with lying when she alerted her parents about the fire.

“She’s never ever done anything like this,” the mother said, saying her daughter recently befriended the other girl.

The Baker Street girl is grounded until further notice, but is still attending school. She isn’t allowed to go to any friend’s houses without both parents meeting each other.

Attempts to reach the Newton Street girl and her parents were unsuccessful this week.


Baker Street Gi...

Just wanted to say I know this child and she is very sweet, kids make mistakes and she will learn from it I am sure and she may have been influenced but I don't know the other girl. Grounding is definitely a good punishment.

Beth (Anonymous)

I accidentally hung around a few bad kids before. I know her position. I got lucky that didn't happen to me. I feel bad for her.

everyone makes ...

Well, I have talked with people who know both and everyone of course says they are both nice children. Everyone makes mistakes in life. I hope the school took down the scrapbook page of them being called heros, I am sure it is a day they would like to forget.

I don't know either girl but the fact is they both were wrong for what happened. No matter which one started the fire, they both lied afterwards so obviously neither one is a complete angel. I am very glad that neither was hurt and no one else for that.

I don't believe they should be charged formally, but they do need to understand the severerity of the situation.

swiss family......

GIVE ME A BREAK !what is wrong with you people,sympathizing with these two little arsonists? they started a fire,and then after they saw that it was out of control,they ran away to save themselves, and to go all the way home, to get the one girl's dad so he could do something! what would have happened if the flames would have hit the gas line, and the whole place could have been ruined,and how many people would have been harmed,or burned,or killed? these are not two innocent children,who made a mistake, these are two little arsonists,who put alot of others lives in danger, and ran away to protect themselves,i wish they would try them as adults,afterall the commited an adult size crime,and i feel they should have to be punished

Here to help (A...

swiss family needs a good a-- kickin smart a--

JEF (Anonymous)

The triuvirate of a future serial killer: Starting fires, hurting animals and bed wetting. All that's necessary for the profile is two of the three. These children should be watched and the home life of their family of origin needs to be questioned. Abusers tend to produce abusers.

vlad (Anonymous)

Yeah, string 'em up in the town square!

No excuse (Anon...

These girls need punished by the full extent of the law for what they did. This is far from being a mistake. It was a purposeful act and grounding is not the proper punishment for them. They need to sit their little bottoms in a detention home. A mistake would have been for example they were cooking on the stove and something caught fire. They can be just a sweet as pie but that doesn't mean they aren't little criminals (which they are). It sounds to me like they are not only firebugs but little liars. They need taught a hard lesson they won't soon forget. Not a slap on the hand either.

Pain in the Gas...

Let it be known...I FINALLY agree with swiss family. But JEF makes a very good point. Watch 'em.

Geesh! (Anonymous)

Take it easy on the kids. Playing with fire is actually a normal activity that kids do. They need to be assessed (if they arleady have not been) to see if they have a problem or if it was just kids playing with fire. When I was a kid I started several junk cars on fire at the end of my street. Today I am a full-time firefighter. I would say if they were a few years older they would know better, but curiousity is part of growing up. We all made mistakes as kids - let the system work and stop being a judge. Remember you only know the information that is in the paper!


These two may be nice girls, but they need to be punished by more than just grounding. They're old enough to know what they did is wrong, and they must be held accountable.
I'm not saying they should be sent to juvenile detention for years and years, or anything of the sort.
But some sort of legal action is warranted.
I will give them credit for telling an adult...At least that prevented someone from getting hurt or worse.

RE: Geesh! (Ano...

I don't know if I would label it a 'normal' activity kids do. You said you did these things and ended up being a firefighter. (God bless you for that, by the way!) Maybe your fascination with fire differs from other kids fascination with fire. I'm just saying, all kids are different. I can remember our parents warning us the danger of playing with matches, etc. Hey, I do remember my brother using a magnifying glass to burn ants on the sidewalk. I thought he was gross, and I'd run in and tell on him. Ahhh, good times.

swiss family .....

see , "Pain in the Gas" Iknew that you weren't completely stupid , like you pretend to be most of the time. I thought that if you talked to me long enough , my "smarts" would eventually rub off on you , and it worked !! congratulations on a moment of clear thinking on your part , i wish it would last, but i'm sure it won't

Tired of swiss ...

What are you, 10? Do you hang out with these firestarters? Every comment you make is immature and demeaning, I don't blame anyone on here for not liking you. You're the pain in the you know what. So childish.

swiss family......

no,i am not 10, and i never said that i was a girl , like alot of you imply.but by you saying that i am 10,to me, show's immaturity on your part.let's not get too far off the topic here , the fact is that 2 little arsonists started a fire and then ran away , leaving everyone living close to them,in grave danger, thank goodness they did tell an adult, after they were a couple of blocks away !and thank goodness, he stepped in to help. but why didn't the girl's step forward when they were being painted as hero's? they were definately way out of line,and should be severly punished for their actions. i just wish that they would lower the age of reason from 18 to about 10 , this just acts as an example, how kids today know alot more that past generations, and reach mature thinking alot earlier that we ever did, and should be held accountable for their actions !

RE: Swiss famil...

blah blah blah...geeeze! Take a breath!

Lillie Chaos (A...

Has the Newton Street complex cleaned up any? Two little girls should not be left unsupervised anyway. That was at one time a very unsavory place to be and no one would live there if they had any other choice. Thank heaven it was no worse than it was. I am sure both mothers got a real wake-up call!

Re: swiss famil...

YOU haven't reached maturity yet, so why would you make a comment like that? Why don't YOU grow up and then you can comment in this adult world and maybe by then you'll be able to type like one. Your typing is horrible! Gee!

Don't wanna get...

but at least they tried to burn down the trahiest place in town. It's one way of getting rid of that dump they call apartments. They're nothing but drug houses, with a bunch of troublemakers. So of course I won't put my real name. They are some dangerous people there.

smalltowner (An...

Where were the parents? How come they didn't know where these little girls were at? I believe this should be put thru the juvenile system they are old enough to know right from wrong and they need to accept the punishment the same way they accepted the title HERO, I however do not want them sent away they just need to be aware of the consequences of their actions, and I think their parents have some things to answer too also they should also be held accountable for what these girls did while unsupervised. It goes with being a parent, YOU are responsible for your kids!

JE8675309NNY (A...

You are right smalltowner! They did accept the hero title, but I'll bet the fire dept. was suspicious all along. Everybody in town (except 'the residents', of course) would love to see that place burn. Same with Bouscay...and Grand Ave. All eyesores.

Don't wanna get...

Yeah, I agree. I just didn't want to say it due to the fact that many more people would want to kick my butt. If we get rid of those places, maybe they'll have to move to a different place. They want to eliminate our drug problems in this town...and those are the places to begin.

Exactly (Anonymous)

And if you think about it, they're all within walking distance to Rupp's. Not a good thing.

Don't wanna get...


Right from Wron...

I find it more than a little ironic that some of these posters, many of whom lack manners and common decency and hid behind the veil of anonymity to belittle and spout venom on these comment pages, have the gall to talk about anyone else knowing right from wrong. These girls are 10. There is a reason we have a juvenile justice system, let it play out. I have no idea if they need treatment, just made a mistake or are indeed lost sociopaths, but no one here can say, that's for Cardwell to decide, as it should be.

swiss family......

I, for one, am glad that these little arsonists didn't burn newton terrace down! if they had, they would have had to move to somewhere else and i definately don't want these little monsters living next to me! i know that the one girl lives in the Baker street apts, but that place isn't much better either!

where do you li...

Bouscay Ave.?

smalltowner (An...

Yea swiss, where do you live? so we can all steer clear of you and your pathetic life!

Lillie Chaos (A...

Poor people need affordable housing---that is true but to put good people who need affordable housing next to drug pushers and trouble makers seems to be cruel punishment to bear just because you are poor. I wish I had an answer.
I think something needs to be done in the way of governing these complexes. Don't rent to people with criminal records or some how try to control it. Yes, I guess I am talking discrimination. I definitely don't want criminals, perverts, and drug users in my back yard. These two little girls out roaming around unsupervised could have gotten into more than one bad scenario. Lots of news articles over the years of horror stories resulting from Newton Street apartment complex. Any viable suggestions out there????

Re;swissmiss (A...

You stated that they should be held accountable for their own actions.Why shouldn't you, take in account for how RUDE you get on a lot of these posts, to people you don't even know!I say there should be accountability on YOUR part!By the way, on one of the past posts, that said it was from swiss,you gave reason to beleive that you were not a man!