Article 15.

Arson and Other Burnings.

14-58.  Punishment for arson.

There shall be two degrees of arson as defined at the common law.  If the dwelling burned was occupied at the time of the burning, the offense is arson in the first degree and is punishable as a Class D felony.  If the dwelling burned was unoccupied at the time of the burning, the offense is arson in the second degree and is punishable as a Class G felony. (R.C., c. 34, s. 2; 1870-1, c. 222; Code, s. 985; Rev., s. 3335; C.S., s. 4238; 1941, c. 215, s. 2; 1949, c. 299, s. 3; 1973, c. 1201, s. 4; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1156; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-58.1.  Definition of "house" and "building."

As used in this Article, the terms "house" and "building" shall be defined to include mobile and manufactured-type housing and recreational trailers. (1973, c. 1374.)

 

14-58.2.  Burning of mobile home, manufactured-type house or recreational trailer home.

If any person shall willfully and maliciously burn any mobile home or manufactured-type house or recreational trailer home which is the dwelling house of another and which is occupied at the time of the burning, the same shall constitute the crime of arson in the first degree. (1973, c. 1374; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14.)

 

14-59.  Burning of certain public buildings.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, the State Capitol, the Legislative Building, the Justice Building or any building owned or occupied by the State or any of its agencies, institutions or subdivisions or by any county, incorporated city or town or other governmental or quasi-governmental entity, he shall be punished as a Class F felon. (1830, c. 41, s. 1; R.C., c. 34, s. 7; 1868-9, c. 167, s. 5; Code, s. 985, subsec. 3; Rev., s. 3344; C.S., s. 4239; 1965, c. 14; 1971, c. 816, s. 1; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s.1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1157; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-60.  Burning of schoolhouses or buildings of educational institutions.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, any schoolhouse or building owned, leased or used by any public or private school, college or educational institution, he shall be punished as a Class F felon. (1901, c. 4, s. 28; Rev., s. 3345; 1919, c. 70; C.S., s. 4240; 1965, c. 870; 1971, c. 816, s. 2; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1158; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-61.  Burning of certain bridges and buildings.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, any public bridge, or private toll bridge, or the bridge of any incorporated company, or any fire-engine house or rescue-squad building, or any house belonging to an incorporated company or unincorporated association and used in the business of such company or association, he shall be punished as a Class F felon. (1825, c. 1278, P.R.; R.C., c. 34, s. 30; Code, s. 985, subsec. 4; Rev., s. 3337; C.S., s. 4241; 1971, c. 816, s. 3; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1159; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-62.  Burning of certain buildings.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, any uninhabited house, or any stable, coach house, outhouse, warehouse, office, shop, mill, barn or granary, or any building, structure or erection used or intended to be used in carrying on any trade or manufacture, or any branch thereof, whether the same or any of them respectively shall then be in the possession of the offender, or in the possession of any other person, he shall be punished as a Class F felon. (1874-5, c. 228; Code, s. 985, subsec. 6; 1885, c. 66; 1903, c. 665, s. 2; Rev., s. 3338; C.S., s. 4242; 1927, c. 11, s. 1; 1953, c. 815; 1959, c. 1298, s. 1; 1971, c. 816, s. 4; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1160; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 751, s. 2.)

 

14-62.1.  Burning of building or structure in process of construction.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, any building or structure in the process of construction for use or intended to be used as a dwelling house or in carrying on any trade or manufacture, or otherwise, whether the same or any of them respectively shall then be in the possession of the offender, or in the possession of any other person, he shall be punished as a Class H felon. (1957, c. 792; 1971, c. 816, s. 5; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47, 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1161; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-62.2.  Burning of churches and certain other religious buildings.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of any church, chapel, or meetinghouse, the person shall be punished as a Class E felon. (1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 751, s. 3.)

 

14-63.  Burning of boats and barges.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, any boat, barge, ferry or float, without the consent of the owner thereof, he shall be punished as a Class H felon. In the event the consent of the owner is given for an unlawful or fraudulent purpose, however, the penalty provisions of this section shall remain in full force and effect. (1909, c. 854; C.S., s. 4243; 1971, c. 816, s. 6; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14.)

 

14-64.  Burning of ginhouses and tobacco houses.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, any ginhouse or tobacco house, or any part thereof, he shall be punished as a Class H felon. (1863, c. 17; 1868-9, c. 167, s. 5; Code, s. 985, subsec. 2; 1903, c. 665, s. 1; Rev., s. 3341; C.S., s. 4244; 1971, c. 816, s. 7; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14.)

 

14-65.  Fraudulently setting fire to dwelling houses.

If any person, being the occupant of any building used as a dwelling house, whether such person be the owner thereof or not, or, being the owner of any building designed or intended as a dwelling house, shall wantonly and willfully or for a fraudulent purpose set fire to or burn or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of such building, he shall be punished as a Class H felon. (Code, s. 985; 1903, c. 665, s. 3; Rev., s. 3340; 1909, c. 862; C.S.,  s. 4245; 1927, c. 11, s. 2; 1971, c. 816, s. 8; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14.)

 

14-66.  Burning of personal property.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn, or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of, any goods, wares, merchandise or other chattels or personal property of any kind, whether or not the same shall at the time be insured by any person or corporation against loss or damage by fire, with intent to injure or prejudice the insurer, the creditor or the person owning the property, or any other person, whether the property  is that of such person or another, he shall be punished as a Class H felon. (1921, c. 119; C.S., s. 4245(a); 1971, c. 816, s. 9; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14.)

 

14-67:  Repealed by Session Laws 1993, c.  539, s. 1358.2.

 

14-67.1.  Burning other buildings.

If any person shall wantonly and willfully set fire to or burn or cause to be burned or aid, counsel or procure the burning of any building or other structure of any type not otherwise covered by the provisions of this Article, he shall be punished as a Class H felon. (1971, c. 816, s. 11; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1192.1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-68.  Failure of owner of property to comply with orders of public authorities.

If the owner or occupant of any building or premises shall fail to comply with the duly authorized orders of the chief of the fire department, or of the Commissioner of Insurance, or of any municipal or county inspector of buildings or of particular features, facilities, or installations of buildings, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and punished only by a fine of not less than ten ($10.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for each day's neglect, failure, or refusal to obey such orders. (1899, c. 58, s. 4; Rev., s. 3343; C.S., s. 4247; 1969, c. 1063, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 30; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-69.  Failure of officers to investigate incendiary fires.

If any town or city officer shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with any of the requirements of the law in regard to the investigation of incendiary fires, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and shall only be punished by a fine not less than twenty-five ($25.00) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200.00). (1899, c. 58, s. 5; Rev., s. 3342; C.S., s. 4248; 1993, c. 539, s. 31; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

14-69.1.  Making a false report concerning destructive device.

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any person who, by any means of communication to any person or group of persons, makes a report, knowing or having reason to know the report is false, that there is located in or in sufficient proximity to cause damage to any building, house or other structure whatsoever or any vehicle, aircraft, vessel or boat any device designed to destroy or damage the building, house or structure or vehicle, aircraft, vessel or boat by explosion, blasting or burning, is guilty of a Class H felony.

(b)        Repealed by S.L. 1997-443, s. 19.25(cc).

(c)        Any person who, by any means of communication to any person or groups of persons, makes a report, knowing or having reason to know the report is false, that there is located in or in sufficient proximity to cause damage to any public building any device designed to destroy or damage the public building by explosion, blasting, or burning, is guilty of a Class H felony. Any person who receives a second conviction for a violation of this subsection within five years of the first conviction for violation of this subsection is guilty of a Class G felony. For purposes of this subsection, "public building" means educational property as defined in G.S. 14-269.2(a)(1), a hospital as defined in G.S. 131E-76(3), a building housing only State, federal, or local government offices, or the offices of State, federal, or local government located in a building that is not exclusively occupied by the State, federal, or local government.

(d)       The court may order a person convicted under this section to pay restitution, including costs and consequential damages resulting from the disruption of the normal activity that would have otherwise occurred on the premises but for the false report, pursuant to Article 81C of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes.

(e)        For purposes of this section, the term "report" shall include making accessible to another person by computer. (1959, c. 555, s. 1; 1991, c. 648, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, ss. 32, 116; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997-443, s. 19.25(cc); 1999-257, s. 1; 2005-311, s. 1.)

 

14-69.2.  Perpetrating hoax by use of false bomb or other device.

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any person who, with intent to perpetrate a hoax, conceals, places, or displays any device, machine, instrument or artifact, so as to cause any person reasonably to believe the same to be a bomb or other device capable of causing injury to persons or property is guilty of a Class H felony.

(b)        Repealed by S.L. 1997-443, s. 19.25(dd).

(c)        Any person who, with intent to perpetrate a hoax, conceals, places, or displays in or at a public building any device, machine, instrument, or artifact, so as to cause any person reasonably to believe the same to be a bomb or other device capable of causing injury to persons or property is guilty of a Class H felony. Any person who receives a second conviction for a violation of this subsection within five years of the first conviction for violation of this subsection is guilty of a Class G felony. For purposes of this subsection "public building" means educational property as defined in G.S. 14-269.2(a)(1), a hospital as defined in G.S. 131E-76(3), a building housing only State, federal, or local government offices, or the offices of State, federal, or local government located in a building that is not exclusively occupied by the State, federal, or local government.

(d)       The court may order a person convicted under this section to pay restitution, including costs and consequential damages resulting from the disruption of the normal activity that would have otherwise occurred on the premises but for the hoax, pursuant to Article 81C of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes. (1959, c. 555, s. 1; 1991, c. 648, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 33; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997-443, s. 19.25(dd); 1999-257, s. 2.)

 

14-69.3.  Arson or other unlawful burning that results in serious injury to a firefighter or emergency medical technician.

A person is guilty of a Class E felony if the person commits a felony under Article 15 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes and a firefighter or emergency medical technician suffers serious bodily injury while discharging or attempting to discharge the firefighter's or emergency medical technician's duties on the property, or proximate to the property, that is the subject of the firefighter's or emergency medical technician's discharge or attempt to discharge his or her respective duties. As used in this section, the term "emergency medical technician" includes an emergency medical technician, an emergency medical technician-intermediate, and an emergency medical technician-paramedic, as those terms are defined in G.S. 131E-155. (2003-392, s. 3(a).)