Prince George's County fire officials yesterday charged a 15-year-old youth with failing to report the gas leak Wednesday night that caused the explosions at the three-story Glenn Dale apartment building that killed a county firefighter.

Officials refused to identify the youthcharged in the case because he is a juvenile. Officials said the youth is resident of the apartment complex at 9923 Good Luck Rd. His case has been turned over to the county juvenile services department.

The blast and fire caused about $250,000 damage to the apartment complex, displaced 36 families and killed county firefighter Thomas L. Graves Jr. Investitigators concluded that the fire was caused by a natural gas leak in the apartment's laundry room.

Officials said that several children had been swinging on gas lines that ran near the ceiling of the laundry room in the building. One of the gas lines was pulled loose from a dryer when the children broke it, allowing natural gas to blow into the room where it ignited.

Fire officials and yesterday they have not yet identified what ignited the gas.

Funeral arrangements for Graves were still being made late yesterday, a fire department spokesman said.