ORRSTOWN, Pa. - An 8-year-old boy is accused of setting a Tuesday house fire, but he will not be charged with arson, Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Jeff Sarver said.
Sarver said children are not considered legally culpable for setting fires until the age of 11.
"We can't charge him, but I contacted Children and Youth Services," Sarver said.
The boy lived with his grandmother, uncle and other relatives in a two-story, wood-frame house with vinyl siding on Orrstown Road in Southampton Township, Sarver said.
After dinner, "he says he's going to go upstairs and play in his room," the fire marshal said.
Police say the boy, who took Sarver to the bedroom afterward to show what happened, allegedly used a Bic lighter to set his bedding on fire and returned downstairs without saying anything.
Family members heard smoke detectors, discovered the fire in the bedroom and tried to put it out. Sarver said people encountering fire should always leave the structure immediately and not try to fight it themselves.