ORANGE PARK, Fla. (AP) — As the mother of a 7-year-old murder victim looked on, firefighters on Thursday burned down a northeast Florida home where the girl was killed in 2009.
The Orange Park Fire Department and other agencies destroyed the home in a training exercise.
"Burn, baby, burn," said Diena Thompson, mother of Somer Thompson, as flames engulfed the home.
Somer Thompson was killed after being lured inside the home and sexually assaulted by Jarred Harrell, who has since pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping, sexual battery and other charges and was sentenced to life in prison. His guilty pleas spared him from a possible death sentence.
Police say Harrell dumped Thompson's body in a trash bin. Her remains were found days after her slaying in a Georgia landfill.
Thompson told the Florida Times-Union (http://bit.ly/1vo6mGU ) that seeing the house burn was a cathartic experience.
"I get to burn their house down," Thompson told the newspaper. "I'm the big bad wolf this time knocking down your door, not the other way around. It's really nice to know that I'm not ever going to have to drive in this neighborhood again and see this piece of trash."
Fire crews and other first responders used the burning house in a live training exercise after it was acquired by the Somer Thompson Foundation.
Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com