Hotel Sprinkler System Set Off; Boy, 12, Arrested

A 12-year-old boy was arrested Sunday for allegedly causing $25,000 damage to a high-rise hotel here when he held a match to a sprinkler head in one of the rooms, triggering the building’s automatic sprinkler system, authorities said.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was detained by arson investigators shortly after the 10:22 a.m. incident at the Waterfront Hilton.

Authorities said the boy was also responsible for starting small trash fires in the room he shared with his parents, who are out-of-town visitors. No damage was caused by those fires.

A spokeswoman for the Huntington Beach Fire Department said smoke detectors on the hotel’s sixth and seventh floors were activated at 10:22 a.m, causing about 45 firefighters to rush to the hotel at 21000 Pacific Coast Highway.


Several rooms on the fifth, sixth and seven floors sustained water damage, but no one was injured. A hotel manager said no one was evacuated.

An arson investigator later detained the boy after he noticed that water was gushing from a sprinkler in his room, a fire spokeswoman said.