Two juveniles have been detained and a directive to apprehend has been issued for a third local teen in connection with a fire which destroyed “a weekend home” in southern Anderson County.

Early Saturday afternoon, authorities were dispatched to a structure fire at 1350 CR 2109, according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor. Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Chason arrived to find the wood frame structure “completely destroyed,” the sheriff stated.

On Wednesday, Taylor said authorities had deemed the weekend fire to be arson, adding that two juveniles — ages 12 and 14 and residents of Elkhart — were in custody and a third — a 14-year-old having a Palestine address — was expected to be detained during the coming days.

“This was a weekend cabin home valued at $46,000,” Taylor said. “That (monetary value) estimate does not include the other stuff.”

In addition to the structure and its contents, authorities have said a golf cart; a riding lawnmower; and a Ford tractor with a mower were also destroyed as a result of the blaze.

“It (the structure) was converted from a garage to a living house and it also had a bay which was attached” where the golf cart and other items were stored, according to the sheriff.

The detained juveniles have told authorities they entered the structure through an unlocked window, Taylor said. After removing some items from the house, including a fishing pole and a cot, the boys later went back inside and used gasoline to set the golf cart on fire, he added.

“Of course, that set the whole place on fire,” Taylor said.

“For what reason?” the sheriff continued, contemplating the juveniles’ motive behind the arson. “Silly boys just being silly boys...There’s no real clear answer as to why.”

Taylor said one of the accused juveniles lives near the burned house.

“It’s unfortunate,” Taylor added. “Hopefully, they’ll learn from this. Thank God, nobody was hurt.”

The fire is being investigated by Chason and Jay Russell, both sergeants with the sheriff’s office, and reserve sheriff’s deputy Bill Yearout, who is a retired arson investigator.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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