Two teens arrested for Cooper Energy arson fires in Springfield

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Two teens arrested for Cooper Energy arson fires in Springfield

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Two teens are facing several charges related to the string of suspicious fires set at the former Cooper Energy industrial complex on Sheridan Avenue.

Between Aug. 20 and Oct. 20, the structure was set on fire eight times. The rash of fires had neighbors concerned, firefighters stretched to their limits and police on the hunt for who was responsible.

Springfield Police Division Lt. Lou Turner said after the most recent fire on Oct. 20, someone called police when they saw two teens go inside one of the buildings.

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“Several officers responded, surrounding the building,” he said. “(The teens) tried to run once they saw the officers.”

A 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, both Emmanuel Christian Academy students, were originally charged with breaking and entering at Cooper Energy — but now police have connected them with with some of the arson fires as well.

The 15-year-old is charged with one count of arson for the fire on Oct. 6, a count of aggravated arson for the fire on Oct. 13 (the charge was escalated to a felony because someone was inside at the time the fire was set), one count of possessing a dangerous ordnance and one count of making a dangerous ordnance.

The 16-year-old was charged with one count of arson for the fire on Oct. 6, one count of making a dangerous ordnance and one count of possessing a dangerous ordnance.

Police said the dangerous ordnance charges come into play because the boys allegedly assembled and brought a small explosive-like device that was filled with black powder and ball bearings, along with other things, to the property.

Police also said the teens returned to Cooper Energy after one of the fires they allegedly set to film firemen putting out the fire.

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The Oct. 6 fire that both boys are accused of setting burned for three and a half hours before it was contained, and fire officials previously told the News-Sun that there were multiple fires set within the complex on that day.

Fire crews had to call in several off-duty firefighters to handle the fire at Cooper Energy and another house fire in the city.

Turner said the estimated damages to the property — as well as the resource costs to fight the fires — totals $122,000 for the eight fires.

“Technically from what the law says (the teens) are responsible for the fires they were charged with,” he said.

When asked why they would set the complex on fire — Turner said the teens didn’t give much of a reason.

“More like something to do,” Turner said. “Just to see what would happen if they did all this.”

No other arrests are forthcoming, according to police.

It is unclear if the teens are in custody or when their next court dates will be.


8 — Number of times Cooper Energy has been set on fire

15, 16 — Age of teens arrested

$122,000 — Damage estimate and cost to fight fires

The News-Sun is committed to following up on criminal cases and providing readers with information about suspects, motives and court proceedings.

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