The child responsible for accidentally starting a fire that destroyed the Yankee Village Motel will not be charged with arson. The unidentified 8-year old boy, because of his age, will not face charges, as Vermont criminal law dictates that any child under 10 is deemed to not be intellectually capable to form malicious intent to commit a crime.
The fire on April 25th that destroyed the motel in Ascutney was started accidentally by the child when he was playing with a lighter behind the building, which started a brush fire that spread to the 19-room motel.
Crews from all over responded to the blaze, which moved from room to room until nearly all of the building was engulfed. It was finally knocked down hours later and the child had approached investigators on his own accord and admitted to accidentally starting the fire.
Questions have been raised regarding who was supervising the child and why he was not in school at the time of the blaze, which was around 11 AM. The building was deemed a complete loss and the Patel family, who owns the building, are still trying to recover and consider their options, including rebuilding.