Youngsville, PA — A 16-year-old boy has been accused of starting fires that destroyed three buildings at a western-themed Christian summer camp in Pennsylvania.
The fires were reported around 3 am Saturday at the Miracle Mountain Ranch in Spring Creek Township, about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. There were no injuries reported.
Police said Monday that the Johnstown teenager, whose name hasn’t been released since he may be charged in juvenile court, set fire to hay in each of the three buildings. The Critter Corral, Mustangers Feed and Seed, and Livery Hay Shed were all destroyed.
The ranch said the fire in the Critter Corral killed a pig, two calves, two sheep, two birds, five goats, and seven rabbits as well as several cats. One goose managed to make it out alive. There were no horses lost, but equipment stored in the feed and seed was damaged in the blaze. Damage to the buildings and approximately 6,000 bales of hay was set at $200,000, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The boy confessed to the crime, and arson and other charges are pending.
Miracle Mountain ranch offers Christian summer camps and retreat programs. It also offers a college-level school of discipleship. The non-denominational, non-profit organization also has one of the largest Christian horse camp programs in the United States. The ranch issued an official update Monday saying that the focus was now on recovery and clean-up efforts.
The ranch has already started receiving donations, including hay and other supplies. Anyone who would like to help out can send gifts to 101 Rodeo Dr. Spring Creek, PA 16436 or make a donation online.
“We fully intend to rebuild with God’s direction and provision and would like to thank the many who have already come alongside us with gifts and encouragement,” Miracle Mountain ranch said on its blog. “We would appreciate your continued prayers through this time.”
Do you think the teenager who set the fires at the Christian summer camp should be tried as a juvenile?