3 boys facing arson charges in Middletown fire

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - Three boys could face charges for allegedly setting a vacant house on fire in Middletown.

Emergency crews responded to a house fire Tuesday around 4 p.m., located in the 2100 block of Hill Avenue.

Upon arrival, crews met a working fire in the vacant home. Several neighbors told investigators they saw several young juveniles playing around the house and going inside one day prior, as well as the day of the fire.

Three boys were seen riding their bikes away from the blaze in a back alley, headed eastbound toward Cleveland Street. Through an investigation, authorities were able to track down the three suspected to have started the fire.

Police say all three, ages 8 and 9-years-old, admitted to hiding their bikes in nearby bushes, breaking into the home, damaging mirrors and looking around before leaving. Police say the trio admitted returning to the home and finding candles in the basement.

According to investigators, they gathered some papers and mats in the kitchen and doused the pile with a bottle they found containing brake fluid or carburetor fluid for a car. The juveniles reportedly told police they got scared and took off running out of the back door, later ditching the bottle into a wooded area.

Middletown Police say all three juveniles have been released to their parents. Juvenile detectives are still looking into charges.

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