Two boys ages 16 and 17 were arrested Friday for allegedly setting a fire that destroyed the Millbrae Community Center a day earlier, San Mateo County sheriff's officials said Monday.
The teens, both Millbrae residents, were arrested following the fire that started just before 4 a.m. Thursday along an exterior wall of the center at 477 Lincoln Circle.
The building's roof collapsed as firefighters struggled to extinguish the blaze. The fire was finally put out by about 8:15 a.m., according to the Central County Fire Department.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was called in to assist with the investigation, which led to the two juveniles Friday afternoon, sheriff's spokesman Detective Sal Zuno said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
ATF Called In To Provide Expertise For Four-Alarm at Millbrae Community Center
Zuno said the boys confessed to starting the fire but said investigators at this point believe the blaze was "due to negligence and was not intentional."
He said investigators got "important" information from the public, as well as social media, that led to the arrests. Neither boy has any prior criminal history, Zuno said.
Millbrae Mayor Anne Oliva said children in a summer camp that was being held at the center have been relocated to nearby Taylor Middle School, and the city is working on plans for what to do with other programs held there.
"We're going to get through this," Oliva said.
Anyone with information about the fire is encouraged to call sheriff's Detective Pat Carey at 650-259-2321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. People wishing to remain anonymous can call a tip line at 800-547-2700.