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Berlin teens guilty of theater arson
The judge's decision came in the juvenile division of Berlin District Court. The two males were not publicly identified since they were under 17 on a Friday night in mid-December when police say they used small pieces of paper — possibly including old theater tickets — to start a fire that consumed most of the century-old Princess Theater in downtown Berlin's Green Square.
Juvenile hearings, as in this case, are generally closed to the public and the records are sealed.
"This was a large incident, so we gave them a hand. It was a terrible night, and kind of a hare-brained thing to do," said McCormick, who added that no specific motive had been established for the pair's actions.
"One of them thought it'd be cool," said Plourde, who said the pair were out "looking for something to do" that night, which had a wind-chill factor of minus-35. The two were tracked down after a detective "received a lead that led to several interviews," he said.
Berlin Fire Lt. Bill Maddalena said it became immediately clear that firefighters were in for a long, difficult and dangerous task in the frigid weather when they got started at 6:30 p.m.
Berlin police Detective Sgt. Jeff Lemoine and Detective Wade Goulet handled the investigation, along with Detective Mike Cote of New Hampshire State Police Troop F in Twin Mountain, said Plourde.
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