Mom doesn't want son charged for burning down the house

CAMAS, Wash. - A mother is pleading with prosecutors not to charge her teenage son for accidentally setting her house on fire.

That fire burned the home to the ground.

Court documents show the 19-year-old faces reckless burning charges for setting envelopes on fire under the deck.

Because Brian Murray is facing legal trouble, he declined to speak to KATU News Thursday, but his parents say they are more concerned about him than anything else.

A fence now surrounds what's left of the home. But the burned bricks and the material items inside it means nothing to Murray's mother, Pat Jensen.

"Those are temporary little things, and his well-being is permanent," she says.

She hasn't cried once about the house, but it's a different story with her son.

"He's my kid," she says.

Court documents show Murray went under the deck to set fire to more than a dozen envelopes that held old bank statements. The documents show he used a cup of gasoline. Before he knew it, the gas can, several feet away, caught fire - then the deck, and then the home.

Jensen says her son was trying to clear out clutter from his room.

"Not everybody when they're young thinks all the steps through," she says. "And he thought he had things under control and obviously he didn't."

She feels her son's learned his lesson without needing a legal battle.

Camas police say they feel bad for the family but that doesn't excuse reckless behavior that can cause damage to property and life.

They point to damage to two neighbors' homes, saying Murray's parents are not the only victims.

Right now Murray has only been arrested but not charged.

Prosecutors will likely decide in the next few days whether to pursue this case further.