Port Townsend: Teens accused of starting Aldrich’s fire snub civil lawsuit

PORT TOWNSEND — Since two teenagers accused of starting the fire that destroyed Aldrich’s market last year didn’t respond to a civil lawsuit filed against them, the grocery owners’ lawyer says they should be found liable for the fire.

Malcolm Harris, the attorney, filed a request in Jefferson County Superior Court on Wednesday seeking a default judgment against the two juveniles.

Attorneys for the teenagers had 20 days to respond to the lawsuit, but no reply was received, Harris wrote in the request document.

Separate from the lawsuit, both teenagers — a 14-year-old girl from Port Townsend, and a 15-year-old boy from Bremerton — are awaiting trial in Juvenile Court on criminal charges of reckless burning, a Class C felony.

Their names are not being reported in Peninsula Daily News because they are juveniles.

Aldrich’s owners, David Hamilton and Johnathon Ryweck, filed the suit in January under their business names, Ham & Rye LLC and Retail Services Inc.

Relief from damages and the cost of reconstructing the grocery store are sought in the suit.

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