PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A 15-year-old boy who was found guilty of starting the fire that claimed the lives of two firefighters at the Porterville Library has been sentenced.

On Wednesday morning, a judge sentenced the teenager, who has not been identified due to his age, to six months in juvenile hall with counseling services.

“That’s a boy,” said the juvenile’s Attorney Richard Alvarez. “He was 13 at the time of the offense. He is 15 now. He is gonna forever live his life knowing a thing he caused, caused the death of two people.”

The teen was also sentenced to eight-to-ten months of probation with grief and PTSD counseling.

The judge ordered that the teen do 100 hours of volunteer work and write an essay about why he set the library on fire.

The teen will also have to write a letter of apology to the families of Captain Raymond Figueroa and Firefighter Patrick Jones, who were killed in the fire in February 2020.

While in court, the boy turned and apologized to the families of Jones and Figueroa.

“I never meant to harm no one, I am really sorry from the bottom of my heart,” the teen said while crying.

Investigators said video evidence showed the teen lighting a piece of paper on fire before handing it to another boy in the children’s reading area of the library.

Both teens were captured on video running out of the library as the flames quickly spread to stuffed animals, decorations, and other children’s items.

Originally, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward charged the teens, who were 13 years old at the time of the fire, with first-degree murder and arson. The judge dropped the murder charges, but Ward said he doesn’t regret his decision to charge the teens.

“If we were to do this over again, we would have filed the charges exactly how we did,” said Ward. “What we would have done differently, and which I now have the power to do, is make sure this judge never hears another murder case that I have control over.” 

The families of Jones and Figueroa said they feel like justice was not served. 

“I am really disgusted to where I have to hold back on making certain comments,” said Ramon Figueroa, father of Raymond. 

“I think the ruling was not as nearly what we think it should have been, at least he didn’t send the defendant home,” said John Jones, Patrick’s father. 

On November 21, the teen will go back before the judge, who will decide whether he stays in custody or is released on probation.