Local News

Apex police say teen is suspect in house fire

Posted September 24, 2010 8:45 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2010 11:03 p.m. EDT

— Apex police say a 14-year-old boy is a suspect in a fire that destroyed an abandoned home on Chapel Ridge Road in October, according to search warrants released Friday.

Another teen contacted police in March saying that he or she had received a text message from the 14-year-old boy in November stating that he had set the fire at 1225 Chapel Ridge Road, according to the search warrant. The teen brought the cell phone to police in August.

"Really the fact that I was the firestarter," one of the text messages read.

The texts also showed the teen said "someone else took his place" and that he was sorry.

Authorities executed a search warrant on the teen's parents' home in Apex on Sept. 1. They seized a journal with handwritten drawings, an adult fireman's helmet and several flash drives.

Capt. Blair Myhand said a lot of juveniles had been frequenting the Chapel Ridge Road area prior to the Oct. 18 fire.

Neighbor Diane Cudieff said she called the fire department when she saw the hold engulfed in flames.

A total of five vacant homes in the area caught fire in a 15-month period, police said. The most recent fires were reported on June 6, 2010, when a house on Saint Emilion Court was burned to the ground and a home on Bexley Hills Bend was severely damaged.

A suspicious fire struck homes under construction in the Olive Chapel Park subdivision, then known as L'Hermitage at Beaver Creek, on Feb. 13, 2010 and Sept. 7, 2009.

At this point, investigators say the 14-year-old is a suspect in the Chapel Ridge Road fire, and they couldn't rule out whether he's connected to the other cases.

Locations of Apex suspicious fires

View Apex suspicious fires in a larger map