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Arson suspected in fires

Tonica Volunteer Fire Department is seeking information

TONICA — With the recent multiple structure fires in the area, one of which was at the same location as a previous fire, the Tonica Volunteer Fire Department has issued a request for any information regarding the possibility of arson.

If anyone has pertinent information, they should call the Arson Reporting Hotline at 1-800-252-2947. Those reporting such information can remain anonymous.

“If an emergency service provider is killed or injured because of an arson fire, the act is not just a crime, but it becomes a Class X felony,” Rick Turri, public information officer for the Tonica fire department, said in the request.

According to Turri, arson is a Class 2 felony that carries a three- to seven-year prison sentence. Arson in a residential home or a house of worship is punishable by a four- to 15-year prison sentence. 

Aggravated arson is a Class X Felony, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of six to 30 years.

Tonica firefighters were recently called for a structure fire at 279 North 17th Road, which is the same address as the recent church fire. Firefighters found the unoccupied two-story farmhouse at the location totally involved with fire. There have also been other recent structure fires in the Tonica-Lostant area.

The $10,000 Illinois Arson Award Program is funded by the Illinois Fair Plan and is monitored by the Governor’s Arson Advisory Board. Anyone providing information that may prevent arson or that leads to the arrest of an arsonist will be rewarded. 

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