Georgia teen charged with arson after home catches fire

Homeowner says 13-year-old accused of burning down her house is her cousin

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A 13-year-old boy was arrested after a home caught fire in Brunswick, according to a joint news release from the Glynn County Fire Department and Police Department.

Investigators said the house on Bel Air Circle went up in flames Wednesday afternoon. After the fire was extinguished, it was ruled suspicious and arson investigators said they determined it was intentionally set. 

Due to his age, the teen's name was not released. But authorities said he is charged with first-degree arson. 


Santia Reed, the homeowner, told News4Jax her cousin is the teen accused of starting the fire, and she never thought he'd do something like this. 

"I was in tears, devastated -- just everything I worked for," Reed said. 

According to the incident report, about 2:15 p.m., a neighbor saw the teen standing across the street from the home, watching the flames take over, before running away.

Reed said she thought her cousin was at school at the time of the fire. 

“I just got a phone call saying that fire trucks were out here," she said. "Then when I got here, everything was pretty much done and over.”

According to the police report, the teen was found nearby and, at first, claimed that the home caught fire after he was cooking in the kitchen. 

The teen later admitted he used a lighter to light paper in the living room, which caused the house to catch fire, according to the police report. He also admitted to lighting pine needles and pine cones in the bed of the truck parked in front of the house, which also caught fire, the report states.

“I know it’ll be OK," Reed said. "That’s my cousin and I’ll pray for him.”

Reed hasn’t spoken to her cousin since the fire, but she said she hopes that he’s learned his lesson. 

Reed said she's staying at her sister's house for now, but does not know where she will go next.

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