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12-year-old arrested for arson in Medical Lake fire

Firefighters respond to a house fire on Saturday, June 2, 2012, near downtown Medical Lake, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested for starting a fire that destroyed a historic Medical Lake home Saturday.

Deputy Mike McNees, of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, investigated and determined the fire had been set.

On Tuesday, the boy told McNees he had ignited a propane bottle on the home’s second floor and left it, thinking he had turned it off.

The boy has been arrested on a charge of second degree arson, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

He was taken to juvenile court Wednesday afternoon and then released and put on house arrest, said Michael Ludlam, the owner of the home.

Neighbors reported the fire at the house, at 207 E. Lake Street, about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Witnesses reported hearing an explosion, which came from the propane tank, Ludlam said. All the utilities in the house had been turned off.

Ludlam lives in Billings, Mont., and had planned to renovate the home and turn it into a bed and breakfast, he said Saturday.

The house was built in the 1880s, and Bing Crosby may have stayed there, Ludlam said.

“It was one of the original town structures,” he told The Spokesman-Review.

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