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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.

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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.


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