A 12-year-old boy was convicted of felony arson Wednesday in connection with a fire that destroyed the Masonic Family Center in Crescent City on June 29.
He now faces up to six years in juvenile hall, said Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander.
“This was not just four walls and a roof that was destroyed,” said Alexander. “It was people’s memories and a part of this community. Sadly, it cannot be replaced. The minor needs to be held accountable and punished appropriately.”
The boy, along with a 13-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, had broken into the lodge and went up to the attic, where the fire was started at about 7 p.m., authorities said.
The 12-year-old boy found a lighter in one of the desks and ignited a cardboard box, authorities said. The flames spread quickly, evolving into a fire that seven departments dealt with until 2 p.m. the next day.
The fire destroyed memorabilia including journals, Bibles, tools dating back to the organization’s birth in 1853; it also disintegrated more modern documents, regalia, pictures, paintings of past public officials and members, and historical documents from the lodge and elsewhere.