Vancouver boy accused of lighting bedroom rug on fire

He faces a first-degree arson charge

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: December 27, 2011, 4:19 PM

 

A 15-year-old Vancouver boy has been charged with first-degree arson for allegedly dousing his bedroom carpet in gasoline in October and setting it ablaze.

Elijah D. Demaray has been summoned to make his first appearance Jan. 4 at the Clark County Juvenile Justice Center.

Deputy Prosecutor Rick Olson issued the court summons Dec. 22, alleging that Demaray “knowingly and maliciously” caused the fire at his apartment at the Park at Mill Plain complex, 12800 N.E. Fourth St.

No one was injured in the blaze, and the apartment sustained less than $5,000 in damage, Olson said. But Demaray faces the stiffer arson charge because the apartment is classified as a multi-family residential structure.

According to court documents, on Oct. 11, Demaray dumped flammable liquids on the bedroom carpet and then lit a match. He later told an investigator it was an accident, according to court records.

“He said he didn’t think the fire would get so big,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the juvenile justice center.

First-degree arson is a Class A felony, meaning 16- and 17-year-olds charged with such an offense could be remanded to adult court. Because of Demaray’s youth, prosecutors would have to file a motion to request that he be charged as an adult.

Olson said Tuesday he did not plan to make such a request.

Demaray has no known criminal history.