Grandfather gets custody of teen charged in fire

STERLING — A teenager accused of setting a fire that destroyed a swath of downtown Prophetstown is being released into the custody of his paternal grandfather.

The Daily Gazette reports the 16-year-old and his 12-year-old brother are charged with arson and criminal damage in Whiteside County juvenile court. The July 15 fire destroyed eight buildings and damaged two others in the northwestern Illinois community.

Assistant State's Attorney Carol Linkowski says an agreement allows the teen to be placed on electronic monitoring. His grandfather must provide 24-hour supervision.

Investigators say the boys set fire to a recycling bin behind a restaurant, sparking the blaze. Many of the destroyed buildings were about 150 years old.

The 12-year-old has been released to his family. Their next court hearings are scheduled for July 30.

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