Fire Fighting in Canada

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Teen gets three years for setting fatal boarding-house fire

Oct. 5, 2012, St. John's, N.L. – A young offender who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with a fatal rooming house fire in St. John's, N.L., will spend the next three years in intensive rehabilitative custody.

October 5, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Oct. 5, 2012, St. John's, N.L. – A young offender who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with a fatal rooming house fire in St. John's, N.L., will spend the next three years in intensive rehabilitative custody.

The 17-year-old, who was sentenced Thursday in provincial court, was just 16 when he doused his mattress in lighter fluid and set his room ablaze on Nov. 27, 2011.

The fire spread quickly through the building where four other men were living and also damaged some neighbouring homes.

Fifty-four-year-old Carlos Escobar Medina died in the fire, while three men were injured in their attempts to get out of the burning house.

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The boy's lawyer, Peter Ralph, says before the fire, his client was living with undiagnosed ADD, had alcohol and drug issues and was doing poorly in school.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Colford says she decided not to sentence the boy as an adult because the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision program could rehabilitate him.