Two teenagers and an 11 year old are facing felony charges for allegedly setting fire to several garages recently along the 1000 block of Circle Avenue. No one was injured during the early morning blazes, which firefighters responded to on April 19 and April 27. However, a handful of vehicles and three garages were destroyed, according to police.
“They used accelerants to do it,” said Sgt. Mike Keating. “Both times they used cologne, because it has an alcohol base.”
The three male juveniles arrested in the case are each facing two felony counts of arson, Keating said. Aged 16, 14 and 11, it does not appear that any one of the suspects served as a ringleader in starting the fires, but that they encouraged one another. There’s likely an element of “the dare factor,” Keating said.
Because of the suspects’ juvenile status their identities were not made public.
Parents of the suspects cooperated with authorities, said Keating, and the individuals charged have a “minimal criminal history.”
Just after 3 a.m. on April 19, authorities were called to the alleyway behind 1014 Circle Ave. where a fire at that location had spread to another detached garage at 1012 Circle Ave., according to a police report. The heat generated by the flames damaged vehicles and property at 1020 Circle Ave. and 1011 Marengo Ave.
Similarly, during the early morning hours of April 27 authorities were called to the same alley where the detached garage for 1032 Circle Ave. was ablaze.
Keating said he was unsure of exactly what motivated the suspects to start the fires. A garbage can and a couch appear to be where the flames originated, he said.
Sgt. Pete Morrissette helped crack the case, said Keating, by conducting a key interview with a witness who allegedly saw the juveniles in the alley. That evidence enabled officers to conduct a lineup, during which the suspects were identified, he said. Felony charges were filed April 28, one day after the second fire.