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No Criminal Charges For 5-Year-Old Boy Who Started Deadly Fire

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A 5-year-old boy is too young to face charges for starting a towering blaze near Pittsburgh that killed his cousin, authorities said. | CBS Pittsburgh

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania prosecutor says a 5-year-old boy who allegedly started a fire that claimed the life of a young girl near Pittsburgh cannot be charged with a crime because of his age.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. alleged Thursday that the 2-year-old girl's cousin intentionally started the March 23 fire in McKeesport.

The Tribune-Review reports ( ) that a spokesman said in a statement Friday that any child younger than 7 suspected of criminal activity is treated as a dependency case to decide if a crime was the result of abuse or neglect.

Zappala said Thursday that the boy is being evaluated by the Office of Children, Youth and Families, which may start court proceedings to remove him from his family because he has a history of starting fires.

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