Teens arrested for Racine fire incident

Published 9:51 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Two 13-year-old boys are in custody and facing possible arson charges after a home and two campers were set on fire in Racine.

According to Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi, deputies responded to a call from a grandparent of one of the juveniles living on Harrison Avenue at 3:30 p.m. on Monday. The grandparent showed the deputies scorched vinyl tiles. Deputies were able to smell the odor of an accelerant.

The grandparent said the juvenile, who had his friend over with him, had run away and that some money was missing. A juvenile runaway report was taken for the two boys.

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As deputies were clearing the area, there was a report of an explosion in the area. A camper stored at Oak Avenue and Iowa Street had been set on fire, which in turn caused another camper to catch fire.

Deputies set up a perimeter and began to search for the two juveniles, whom they believed were responsible for the camper fires. Rochester police sent a drone with infrared capabilities to aid in the search, while the Minnesota State Patrol had a helicopter fly overhead.

The two juveniles were apprehended and caught at about 10 p.m. hiding in a washout area. Both were taken to Many Rivers Detention Center and are awaiting charges.

There is no damage estimate at this time.