HELENA – The teenage boy accused of starting a fire at the 7th Avenue Gym last week will remain in juvenile detention in Great Falls, after a judge denied his attorney’s request to release him into his parents’ custody.
District Judge Kathy Seeley said Wednesday she was concerned the boy might start more fires if he was released into the community. Prosecutors said this is the second time he has been involved in an arson investigation.
Juvenile probation officers are currently looking for an alternate placement for the boy.
Helena police say the boy and another teen were inside the gym last Tuesday, when officers arrived to investigate a broken window. They say the two tried to run away but were eventually taken into custody.
Police say the Helena Fire Department later found a garbage can that had been set on fire in the building’s basement.
Helena School District leaders say the fire did several thousand dollars of damage to the historic gym building.
The boy is accused of arson, burglary, criminal mischief and obstructing a peace officer. He is scheduled to admit or deny those charges during a hearing in two weeks.
The other boy arrested last week is charged with criminal trespass, obstructing a peace officer and accountability for criminal mischief.