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Police say 3 teens admitted to setting fire in Rock Falls building

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Three teenage boys were accused of trespassing and arson after witnesses reported seeing them leaving a burning building in Rock Falls.

Rock Falls Police said shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 2014, an officer saw smoke coming from the condemned limestone building at 200 West 1st Street.

Police said there was a fire on the first floor of the building, and the fire was starting to spread to old wooden beams and rafters inside.

Witnesses told police they saw three boys near the building at the time of the fire.

Just after 1 p.m., officers found one 15-year-old and two 14-year-olds, who are from Rock Falls, about three blocks away.  The teens matched witness descriptions of the boys seen leaving the burning building.

“The suspects were dirty in appearance, had a smoky smell to them, and covered in cobwebs,” police said.

A spokesperson from the Rock Falls Police Department said, during interviews with investigators, the boys admitted to being in the building and to starting the fire.

All three teens were charged with criminal trespass to building and arson. They were taken to the Mary Davis Juvenile Detention facility in Galesburg. They were scheduled for a detention hearing on Friday, April 25, at 11 a.m.