Three Teens Accused of Setting Multiple Fires in Cadillac; Youth Services Center Responds
“There could have been not only more significant damage to property but there could have been a loss of life."
Dramatic police video after investigators say a group of teenagers tried to intentionally set fire to buildings in Cadillac.
Cadillac City Police say three teens used Molotov cocktails and gasoline to spark the fires over the weekend.
Through investigation they caught all three.
There were reports of arson over the weekend at Cadillac High School, then Foster Bros. Transfer & Storage.
They found damage at Mckinley Elementary School, too.
9&10’s Cody Boyer is live at Mckinley now to show some of the damage.
Police say burn marks on the ground near Mckinley can only be caused by accelerants like gasoline.
It started with a fire in a trash can at Cadillac High School, then a business fire about two blocks away.
"Here’s a classic example of kids that need guidance and direction,” Dana Wilson said.
Three fires happening back-to-back-to-back.
"That dumpster fire at the school and then the Foster Brothers having their exterior of their building lit on fire all back to back within about a block and a half of each other, we knew right away that we had a problem," Todd Golnick said.
Police say it happened all along the riverwalk.
An investigation at the school led officers to more arson attempts.
"He began to interview a few kids as potential witnesses and that’s when things began to snowball for us,” Goldnick said.
Fortunately, the schools were not damaged.
A box truck also was a target, and a Molotov cocktail was found on a porch.
"I feel like our kids need something to do with their time,” Tracie Kurtzman said.
"My mind immediately goes to what could we have done to prevent that kind of activity,” Wilson said.
Dana Wilson’s "Never Down for the Count Youth Services" exists to prevent acts like this, and he hopes a future youth center will help.
"Having these positive adults there to be impacting young lives and get them on the direction that they are supposed to be going rather than taking all of their talents and using them for a negative purpose,” Wilson said.
Police say the two boys and one girl will be sent to a juvenile detention facility.
They’ll likely face punishment in probate court.