Two teens arrested, charged with arson in former recycling facility fire

SANDTOWN – A pair of 15-year-old males, one from Magnolia and the other from Harrington, were arrested by the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office on Thursday for their alleged roles in an arson fire that took place Monday at the former Mike Davidson Recycling facility.

Tips by bystanders and witnesses on the day of the fire led to the arrests, according to B. Scott Bullock, Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal.

Mr. Bullock said the juveniles were seen leaving the property at the time of the fire and fleeing on bicycles east towards Camden.

Officers were given descriptions of the suspects and the bikes and both juveniles were located in a ditch, far off the roadway in an agricultural field, east of the fire scene.

Volunteer firemen from Kent and Sussex counties, as well as Maryland, were called to assist Felton with a former pickle plant and recycling facility fire late Monday afternoon.. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Mr. Bullock said officers attempted to pursue the suspects but lost sight of them.  Deputy fire marshals continued their investigation this week and located the 15-year-olds Wednesday night.

Both of the juveniles are charged with third-degree arson, third-degree burglary and second-degree conspiracy. All of the charges are felonies.

The juveniles were released to the custody of their guardians pending a future appearance in Family Court.

While fighting the fire, two firefighters were taken to Bayhealth’s Kent General Hospital in Dover where they were treated for medical conditions.

Fire damages to the facility are estimated to be more than $200,000 and are expected to rise due to the continued response by the Felton Fire Co. for areas that continued to burn that are not easily accessible. Heavy equipment has been brought to the scene to assist in breaking up the large piles of recycled debris and moving portions of the collapsed structure to get to areas for better extinguishment.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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