UTICA – Two children are facing arson charges in connection to the fire at Dollar Tree in Utica over the weekend.
Around 1:15 p.m. Saturday, the Utica Police Department responded to the Dollar Tree in the Hannaford Plaza on Mohawk Street for a reported fire. Police say witnesses told Oneida County 911 that two children were responsible for starting the fire inside the store, and responding officers located the two kids after they fled northbound through the plaza and were followed by two Dollar Tree employees.
Utica, Vernon, Whitesboro and New Hartford fire departments responded to put out the fire, which caused three nearby stores to be evacuated. The Oneida County Department of Emergency Services also responded.
Fire crews told NEWSChannel 2 that upon arrival they discovered multiple fires within the store.
Police say there was severe damage and extensive inventory loss at Dollar Tree due to the fire, and other stores reported damage and inventory loss as well.
The two children, who are not being named due to their ages, are charged with felony second-degree arson, and they were sent to a detention facility until they can appear before an Oneida County Family Court Judge.
Police say the investigation into the fire is ongoing.
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