Second church fire suspect gets probation
- Geoff Pursinger
- The Times - News
UPDATE: Judge orders Tualatin boy to five years of probation for involvement in blaze
TUALATIN - One of two boys arrested after a three-alarm fire at a Tualatin church will not spend time in jail.
That was the ruling Monday after a Washington County Juvenile Court sentenced the boy to a maximum of five years probation after a fire heavily damaged Living Savior Lutheran Church.
The 13-year-old boy pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery last month. Other charges of first-degree arson and third-degree theft were dismissed.
As part of his probation, the teen is not allowed to possess matches, lighters or flammable liquid.
The boy is the second of two Tualatin teens linked to the March 19 fire, which severely damaged the church's sanctuary, office and preschool.
The first 13-year-old boy pleaded guilty to setting the fire and was committed to the Oregon Youth Authority until his 25th birthday.
The two teens were arrested the afternoon of the fire and were lodged in the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center in Portland.
The Times does not release the names of juvenile offenders, and is not releasing the names of either teen.
The two boys are accused of using a key to break into the building in the early morning hours of March 19 and ransacking the church in a search for money. The two broke windows to gain access to the church's office, where they reportedly set the fire before fleeing the scene.
The fire drew 17 fire trucks and about 60 firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Lake Oswego Fire Department and Portland Fire and Rescue.
The two-story preschool and office space was built about 30 years ago and serves about 600 parishoners who have been worshiping at Tualatin Elementary School since the fire.
The church's preschool has been operating at Triumphant King Lutheran Church in Lake Oswego.
Living Savior's pastor, Nathan Brandt, said his hope is to have the sanctuary ready for the congregation as early as this fall, but rebuilding the rest of the church could take as long as two years.
Brandt said insurance would help repair much of the building, but the church is seeking restitution to cover its deductable.
A final estimate isn't available, but current projections are around $12,500. A restitution hearing is set for July 30.