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San Diego Spotlight

Cocos Fire verdict – A primer for parents

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Cocos Fire 2014

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Hall, Action Photography

The verdict is in. A 13 year old is guilty of starting the May 2014 Cocos Fire that destroyed 36 homes and caused more than $10 million in damage.

There are no winners in this case.

People can argue that at 13 you can’t understand the full future impacts of your choices. But teenagers do understand right and wrong. It was wrong to start a first fire, but children are curious. The issue was dealt with by family and firefighters. Starting a second fire the next day was unconscionable, but the judge believes that she did not mean to hurt anyone, and we also believe this to be true.

We suggest that parents use this case to help children understand choices and their potential consequences. A moment of curiosity can turn into a lifetime of regret.

Our sympathies go out to this girl’s family and to the many families who lost everything in the Cocos Fire.

Frank Ault
Baord Chairman