Broken heart, booze triggered fatal boarding house fire
A teenager who has pleaded guilty to manslaughter says he lit a fatal fire at a downtown St. John's boarding house last year because a girl rejected him in favour of someone else.
The youth, who cannot be identified because of his age, has admitted to setting fire to his mattress in a rooming house on Springdale Street last November.
The fire killed another boarder, Carlos Escobar Medina, 54.
The information was revealed in an agreed statement of facts presented Monday at provincial court in St. John's.
The boy, who was 16 at the time of the fire, told police he had drunk a dozen servings of beer and had had a couple of drinks of rum before he set the fire with some lighter fluid.
The boy called 911 to report the fire, and during the call had admitted to starting it.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, he was distraught.
"[The boy] was upset, crying and his hands were behind his head," the joint statement of facts said.
Crews moved the boy across the street so that they could tackle the fire.
Later, a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer noticed the teen in distress. When the officer identified himself and put his hand on the boy's shoulder, the teen responded, "I started the fire and Carlos is dead."
The boy lived in the 101 Springdale St. rooming house with five men, most of whom were significantly older.
The Crown had earlier wanted to sentence the boy as an adult, but has changed its position. It is now working with the defence on a joint submission.