BEVERLY (CBS) — While clean-up is taking place in the neighborhood where the Beverly inferno raged, three teenagers are now accused of the crime.
Prosecutors say 19-year-old Zackary Pavia used a blowtorch to start a fire in an unoccupied home.
He was allegedly with two juveniles, a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy.
Prosecutors say the three broke in through the garage, and then went to the second floor where they smoked marijuana, according to one of the juveniles who was questioned.
The two minors told police as they left the house, Zack asked for a lighter and one of them lit the torch for Zack. When Zack came outside he said “it was time to go” according to prosecutors and court documents.
Mary Reedy’s house was one of the many damaged. She moved in a week ago.
“Careless, it was stupid, it was kids you know,” said Reedy.
When the inferno was finally out, two homes under construction were leveled and several others sustained serious damage.
“I think it’s kids with nothing to do,” said Matt Silva, whose home was also damaged.
Prosecutors say when the teens left the scene of the crime, they went to the Black Lobster restaurant in nearby Salem, where they could see the fire light up the night sky.
Pavia is described as “freaking out as he looked at the fire… laughing about the fire, giggling and swearing” according to court documents.
Pavia denied any involvement when he was questioned by police.
He’s being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing later this month.
Someone who answered the door at his home declined to comment about the case.
The two juveniles are also being charged in connection with the crime.
Investigators say Pavia told two other friends he was responsible for the fire. “I did it,” he allegedly told them.
Pavia is charged with 10 counts of Arson and 13 counts of Destruction of Property. He is also charged with Breaking and Entering as well as Trespassing.
The two juveniles, who are not being named because they are minors, are facing accessory, breaking and entering, and trespassing charges.
Both will be “summonsed and charged with 1 count accessory before the fact, 1 count of breaking and entering in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony, and 1 count of trespassing,” State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said in a statement Thursday.
Coan said tips to the statewide Arson Hotline, 1-800-682-9229, were helpful in solving the case. A $5,000 reward was offered but has not been given out yet.
A reward selection committee that includes the Public Safety Commissioner, the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Insurance and two representatives of the property insurance industry will review all the nominations and make the final decision in granting rewards, Coan said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports