Two juveniles were taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of starting a fire in front of a vacant duplex in west Columbia on Tuesday, Maj. Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze before it could spread to the duplex, which was damaged slightly by smoke, Boone County Fire Protection District Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp said. No one was injured.
Firefighters responded around 6 p.m. to a call regarding a fire in the 4500 block of Southview Drive. When firefighters arrived, they found a 5-gallon bucket of construction sealer ablaze near the front door of the duplex, Blomenkamp said.
The Fire Protection District determined the fire was intentionally set after neighbors reported seeing two juveniles setting the fire and no other potential sources could be determined, Blomenkamp said. The fire district asked the Sheriff’s Department to assist in the investigation.
The neighbors were able to later identify the two juveniles, Reddin said.
One of the juveniles was being held at the Boone County Juvenile Justice Center and the other was released into the custody of his parents, Reddin said. Both face charges of “knowingly burning or exploding.”