A teen charged with setting a half dozen fires in Spokane Valley last month is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday, but a judge has already determined the boy is a threat to the community's safety.
The 16-year-old, faces six counts of arson in connection with a series of brush and structure fires that had Valley residents worried in September after someone deliberately set 18 fires during some of this year's driest conditions of our fire season.
The suspect was arrested at the end of September; as soon as he was taken into custody at the juvenile detention center the suspicious fires, which were averaging two per day, suddenly stopped. He's been in custody since his arrest two weeks ago and fire investigators say they hope he won't get out until he get the help he needs.
Judge Sam Cozza determined the teen was a threat to the community based solely on the charges he's facing and the great hazard any deliberately set fire poses this time of year. However, juvenile court services has been working hard to evaluate his situation, including his mental health status.