Two Juveniles and Teenager Plead Guilty in Reckless Burning Case
NASHVILLE –The State Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb and Arson Unit announce that two juveniles and a teenager pleaded guilty earlier this month to reckless burning charges related to a fire at a Gibson County home.
On February 16, 2015, the two juveniles and a 19-year-old named Dakota Smith said they started a bonfire to keep warm while sledding near an abandoned house at 132 Gibson Cemetery Road in Gibson County. The trio later told investigators they believed the fire had been extinguished when they left the scene. However, a fire heavily damaged the house, which was near the site of the bonfire.
The juveniles pleaded guilty on March 16, 2015 to reckless burning and were sentenced to six months’ probation, mandatory attendance at a fire safety class, completion of 40 hours community service for a fire department and must pay restitution to the victim.
Smith, who is a Humboldt County resident, also entered a guilty plea March 18 as part of a similar plea agreement.
“Carelessness with fire can have serious repercussions,” said Gary West, deputy commissioner of the Fire Prevention Division, Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. “The best way to avoid an outdoor accident involving a fire is to not start a fire.”