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Boy, 12, gets probation for Prophetstown fire

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 8:48 a.m. CDT

PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. – A 12-year-old boy was sentenced to five years of probation after he pleaded guilty to setting a fire that destroyed a swath of a small northern Illinois community.

The boy was sentenced Tuesday in juvenile court after pleading guilty to a single count of arson for the July fire in Prophetstown that destroyed eight historic buildings.

In exchange for the plea, authorities dropped 18 other charges. The sentence was the maximum he could receive.

The boy's name isn't being released because of his age.

He was charged along with his 16-year-old half-brother. Legal proceedings against the teen are continuing.

Most of the buildings that were destroyed in the Whiteside County community of 2,000 were 150 years old.

Authorities say the fire was set in a recycling bin behind a restaurant.

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