Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Sunday, April 26, 2009

04-26-09 UPDATE: Teen Faces Arson Charges in House Fire

04-26-09 UPDATE: Teen Faces Arson Charges in House Fire

    Boise, April 27, 2009 - Boise Police have learned that a teenage arson suspect will be charged as an adult. The teen is currently being booked into the Ada County Jail.

    Arrested: Matthew J. Abramowski, 15

    Charge: 1st degree Arson

    Abramowski is expected to be formally arraigned on the charges this afternoon in 4th District Court at 1:30 p.m.

   For more information, please contact the Ada County Prosecutor's Office.


    Boise, April 26, 2009 - Boise Police are charging a 15 year old boy with Arson in the 1st degree. Arson investigators believe the boy intentionally started a fire in a bedroom of his West Boise home early this morning. No one was injured.

    The boy is currently in the Ada County Juvenile Detention facility. His name is being withheld because of his juvenile status.

    Fire Response: Boise Firefighters responded to the home on the 4900 blk of N. Fieldcrest Way at 5:54 a.m. this morning. When firefighters arrived they found flames filling a guest bedroom of the home. Firefighters were able to put the flames out quickly which kept the fire damage to the one room. Much of the rest of the house did suffer smoke damage.

     The teenage boy and his parents live in the home. Both parents were woken up by the sound of the smoke detector. Both were able to get out of the home safely. The boy however, was not immediately accounted for. Firefighters did a thorough search of the home, and were able to confirm to parents and eventually to police that he was not inside.

    "We're very thankful that the smoke detectors were working and alerted the people inside so they could get out safely," said Battalion Chief Jim Gross of the Boise Fire Department. "Smoke detectors also alert people to call 911 so firefighters can get there quickly. Smoke detectors really do save lives."  

   Arson Investigation:  Boise Police and Boise Fire Investigators called to the scene immediately saw signs that the fire was suspicious. Investigators found items used to light the fire, including a liquid accelerant. The accelerant is being currently tested by investigators to confirm the exact substance.

    After firefighters confirmed he was not in the residence, Boise Police patrol officers began searching for the boy. Officers found him about three hours later, approx 9:00 a.m. nearby. He was questioned by Boise Police Detectives, charged with the Arson, and taken to Juvenile Detention.

    Boise Police and Boise Fire investigators are still on scene, and will likely be continuing their investigation throughout the day. Investigating officers say additional charges against the teen are possible. Additional information will be released as it's available.    


Idaho Code 18-802.Arson in first degree -- Burning of dwelling or other structures where persons are normally present -- Penalties. Any person who willfully and unlawfully, by fire or explosion, damages:
(1)  Any dwelling, whether occupied or not; or
(2)  Any structure, whether occupied or not, in which persons are normally present, including without limitation: jails, prisons or detention centers; hospitals, nursing homes or other health care facilities; department stores, office buildings, business establishments, churches or educational institutions, or other similar structures; or
(3)  Any other structure which the actor has reasonable grounds to believe is occupied by a human being; or
(4)  Any real or personal property, whether the property of the actor or another, with the intent to deceive or harm any insurer or any person with a legal or financial interest in the property, or obtain any financial gain for the actor or another;
is guilty of arson in the first degree, and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to the custody of the department of correction for not more than twenty-five (25) years or fined not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or both.