You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Two teenagers charged with false fire alarms in Roslindale

Two 14-year-old boys are to appear in court after being caught pulling a firebox alarm in Roslindale on Thursday, said Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Boston Fire Department.

The call boxes are placed at many locations in the city as a backup system for people to ­report an emergency if other methods fail.

Continue reading below

“You pull the lever; we show up,” MacDonald said in a telephone interview Friday.

Once a firebox lever is pulled, a fire truck and a fire ­engine respond to the scene within four minutes, he said.

But firefighters spotted a trend of false alarms coming from the call box on the corner of Brown Avenue and Rowe Street in Roslindale.

“It was falsely being pulled, roughly in the same time period over the past couple weeks,” he said.

The fire investigation unit sent a surveillance crew to the Roslindale intersection Thursday afternoon to wait for the perpetrators, he said.

“At 2 p.m. they saw two 14-year-old boys go up to the street box and pull the lever,” ­MacDonald said.

The fire investigators detained the two boys, recorded their information, and issued a summons for them to appear in court, he said.

A clerk magistrate will ­decide whether to send the case to court or impose other ­options, such as having the teenagers attend counseling classes, ­MacDonald said. “It’ll depend on the circumstances and the background of the two teenagers who did it.”

MacDonald was not sure exact­ly how many times the firebox had been falsely pulled, but said it was “enough to draw the attention of the investigators.”

Maintaining the firebox systems costs less than 1 percent of the department’s budget, he said. “They’re a backup system or a redundancy in how people can notify us for emergencies. We acknowledge that most people use telephones or cellphones to call for help.”

The call systems are especially important because they use underground wires and would work in case of a blackout or cell towers that are down, he said. There is also no language barrier for people to report an emergency.

Melissa Werthmann can be reached at melissa.werthmann@globe.com.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.