DA sends message: arson is a violent crime - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

DA sends message: arson is a violent crime

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Cracking down on arson cases—that's what District Attorney Ben David and the Wilmington Fire Department are hoping to do by sending out a message to the public this week, giving it the title "Arson Awareness Week."

While many might think setting fire to a building or home is just an act of vandalism, only causing structural damage, fire officials and David say arson is a felony and in some cases can lead to first-degree murder charges.

"Fire is a beast that can spread quickly and affect many lives," said David. "If someone sets fire to a structure and occupants or first responders are killed as a result, a person can face charges as serious as first-degree murder. If someone sets fire to a structure and doesn't physically harm anyone, the offense is treated just like an armed robbery in court."

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