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Three Juveniles Charged in Connection with Tobacco Building Fire

Muhlenberg debris fireA smoking pile of debris is all that remains of a century-old tobacco storage building at 112 Walnut Street, Greenville Three juveniles have been arrested in connection with the fire. (SurfKY News Photo/Rita Dukes Smith)GREENVILLE, Ky. (4/22/14) —  Officials have confirmed that three juveniles have been charged with third-degree arson and second-degree criminal trespassing in relation to the fire that consumed the old tobacco warehouse Monday, April 21 at 112 Walnut Street, Greenville.

According to Greenville Police Department spokesman Patrolman Wes Miller, the names of the juveniles will not be released. Their ages were given as 9, 10 and 12.

Greenville Fire Chief Jerry Aders told SurfKY News that one fireman was slightly injured while attempting to extinguish the blaze. Fire crews from Greenville, Graham, Drakesboro and Central City fire departments battled the blaze but the structure was a total loss, Aders said.

"We got the call just before 7 p.m. last night," Aders said. "We think the building may have been used for some storage, but I cannot confirm that. We have heard the owner was about to remove the building and use the lumber for other purposes. I believe the building was built around 1890. The three juveniles were charged and released to their parents. They will be tried in juvenile court. One fireman received burns due to the heat, but he is O.K. now. His burns were superficial. We had some damage to other structures around the warehouse and also some damage to fire equipment due to the heat. We were 150 feet from the fire, and I have never seen anything like this, for a building to burn that hot, that quick. I was the first one on the scene and we had to move our trucks back due to the severe heat. We cleared the scene at about 10:10 p.m."

Aders said that all residents in surrounding houses were uninjured.

There were three houses that had minor damage near the fire. But all residents did return to their homes, said Aders.

Muhlenberg fire neighbors hTuesday morning, an unidentified woman looks at the damage to the siding of a home across the street from the old tobacco building on 112 Walnut Street, Greenville. (SurfKY News Photo/Rita Dukes Smith)

According to a press release from Patrolman Miller, several people saw the juveniles leaving the scene.

"After talking to witnesses, three juveniles were questioned and charged," Miller stated. "Witnesses saw the juveniles leaving the scene at the time of the fire. The fire is being investigated by GPD. The Muhlenberg Sheriff's Department, Powderly Police Department and the Muhlenberg EMS also assisted at the scene. "

Paul McRee
SurfKY News Reporter

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