Two 8-year-old boys have been accused by the District police arson squad of setting a three-alarm fire that destroyed a large warehouse near their homes in Northeast Washington last month.
Yesterday morning, the D.C. Corporation Counsel's office decided not to file charges against the boys because of their age and permitted them to return to school, police said.
The boys, both second graders, were questioned Tuesday night, police said, after an intensive investigation of the neighborhood near the warehouse at Eighth and Franklin streets NE, which belonged to the Kane Storage and Transfer Co.
The fire, which broke out about 10 p.m. on March 25, caused an estimated $250,000 in damage, according to deputy fire marshal James Talbert. It took about 200 firemen almost two hours to bring the fire under control.
Sgt. Charles Lintner, the head of the arson squad, said one boy made a statement about the blaze, which was ignited by matches at three separate points inside the building and on a woooden loading dock just outside.
Littner said the other boy refused to make any statement.
Linter said both boys were questioned at their homes. He said the 75-by150 foot warehouse contained furniture and office supplies belonging to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Environmental Protection Agency, and furniture stored ny the D.C. Department of Human Resources for evicted families.
In another arson case, a 14-year-old boy has been charged with setting five fires on March 12 which caused an estimated $10,000 damage to the new Shaw Junior High School at Rhode Island Avenue and 10th Street NW.
Police said the fires were set in late afternoon in a bathroom, teachers' lounge, and auditorium, as well as in hallways in the basement and mezzanine.
Shaw, a large carpeted building with open-space learning centers instead of classrooms, was opened in September 1977.