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Galesburg police one step closer to arsonist, with help from Knox College

Knox College has teamed up with the Galesburg Fire Department and Police Department, along with Crime Stoppers, to try and catch the person who set fire to a house at 472 Academy Street on April 8.

Knox College contributed $300 to the Crime Stoppers reward for the arsonist and they gave their campus surveillance video of the fire to the police.

John Schlaf is the Director of Campus Safety and said Knox College was happy to be able to help with the investigation, and hopes the extra reward and video will go help catch whoever did this.

“Any time that we’ve been able to provide any support, either to Galesburg Police Department or Galesburg Fire Department – or, for that matter, the Galesburg ambulance service as part of a service the college provides – we’re more than willing to do so,” Schlaf said.

Galesburg Fire Marshall Dan Foley said he’s very thankful to the college for giving them the video. He said any video helps in their investigation, even if it doesn’t capture the arsonist on camera.

“Even seeing nothing can be helpful. If we don’t see anyone on camera, then we can direct our attention to the back of the house, where they may have started the fire, instead of the front,” said Foley. “Just being able to see what time smoke started gives us a timeline of when someone could have been able to start the fire.”

Knox College students said they’re happy the school is helping with the investigation because it makes them feel safer on campus.

“It was pretty terrifying to watch it go up as fast as it did,” said sophomore, Ai Miler.

“It’s encouraging that we’re trying to find out what exactly happened, who did it and all that stuff, because it was very close. It was right across the street from one of the sorority houses.  We could see it from where I was living,” Miler said.

Police are still following leads on the case and encourage anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers immediately by calling (309) 344-0044 or by texting GALESBURG to 274637.

The reward for information that leads to an arrest is now up to $1,300.


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