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This season's Jennifer Lopez Collection must really be terrible: an 11-year-old South Florida boy has been charged with setting fire inside a Kohl's department store in Coral Springs two weeks in row, causing $1 million in property damages.
The first fire was set on the second floor of the Coral Square Mall Kohl's January 9, when according to police the boy grabbed clothing from the women's department, doused it in lighter fluid, and ignited the pile, causing the sprinklers to activate and the store to be evacuated. One person was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Witnesses reported seeing the boy flee the scene and police were able to obtain a surveillance photo, Coral Springs Police spokesman Lt. Joe McHugh said. So when a second fire broke out in the same manner around noon on Thursday in the same store's lingerie department, authorities knew exactly whom to look for.
"Once we realized the first and second [fires] were connected, we overwhelmed the mall with officers," McHugh told NBCMiami. The boy was spotted sitting on a curb outside the rear of the mall and arrested on the spot, he said, charged with two counts of arson to an occupied structure.
Though he told CBSMiami the boy is apologetic, McHugh said parents shouldn't ignore signs that children may be playing with fire.
"Obviously someone like this, 11 years old, there's still time to possibly save this individual [through intervention] such as firestarter programs," McHugh said. "Hopefully he can get help and rehabilitate himself."