Two teenagers facing charges for arson from last October - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Two teenagers facing charges for arson from last October

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03/08/17 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - Two suspects are facing charges in a fire that destroyed a home more than five months ago. The fire ruined the lives of eleven people who were living there.

Both suspects are teenagers.

They may have never been caught if it wasn't for surveillance video from a neighbor's house.

Yesterday, 18-year-old Benjamin Apple and 19-year-old Joshua Bena made their preliminary appearances in court. Police are recommending that prosecutors charge both of them with First Degree Arson.

Apple told investigators that back in October, Bena was the one who set off a "mortar" inside the mailbox in front of a home on 22nd Avenue, just south of Englewood.

There were two explosions. The second sent flares 30 to 40 feet in the air, which sparked the fire by the porch. It took just minutes for the entire house to be engulfed in fire. Thankfully, no one was home at the time.

Police say the damage is estimated to be over $47,000.

Apple and Bena are expected to be back in court for their arraignment hearings in two weeks.


YAKIMA, WA - While most people were sleeping or getting ready for bed Sunday night, The Yakima Fire Department was trying to put out a house fire.

The fire happened on the 500 block of North 22nd Avenue in Yakima, and firefighters got the call at 10:45 p.m.

"No one was home at the time and they were out," said Jennifer Norton, Yakima Fire Department Shift Commander. "There was a family of eleven living there, both adults and children, and they were all displaced from the fire."

23 firefighters responded to the call, and it took them twenty minutes to put the flame out. Luckily, the fire didn't spread to any other properties, but the home and a detached garage were consumed and resulted in a $120,000 loss.

Although the cause is unknown at this point, investigators believe it's suspicious.       

"In this case there was evidence that points to a suspicious fire, so our investigators are working with the police department to try and figure out the cause and any possible suspects," said Norton.

The structure still stands after the fire was put out; however, the home is uninhabitable. 

Fortunately, no one was injured and the eleven people who lived at the residence are being helped by the Red Cross.