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Juveniles Set Fires, Vandalize Oak Hill

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department investigators charged three boys, last Wednesday, Nov. 24, with three felonies in connection with several fires set Saturday, Nov. 20, at Oak Hill Elementary School.

The boys, ages 14 and 15, live in Chantilly and Herndon and were released to their parents, pending juvenile-court hearings in mid-January.

Officials say they were also responsible for significant vandalism. "They damaged the electrical and communications systems within the school and also set some fires on the outside of the school," said fire department spokesman Lt. Raul Castillo.

He said damage from the fires is estimated at up to $1,000, but the rest of the damage is estimated at $5,000 or more. Said Castillo: "Once the school finishes its assessment and repairs of the electrical system, most likely, that [damage estimate] will increase dramatically."

The teens were each charged with setting a fire capable of spreading; unlawfully destroying, defacing, damaging or removing property over $1,000; and burning or destroying property valued over $200. The first two charges are each punishable by as much as five years in prison; the third charge carries a possible penalty of two years behind bars.

<tgl> — Bonnie Hobbs