by T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times
August 2, 2022
ST. CHARLES, IL – Two male juveniles have been charged with starting a three-alarm fire at the former Pheasant Run resort on North Avenue. Two additional male juveniles have been charged with trespassing at the resort.
According to St. Charles police, on May 21, 2022, at 4:40 pm St. Charles police and the St. Charles Fire Department responded to multiple reports of a fire at the former Pheasant Run resort located at 4051 E. Main Street. On scene, authorities discovered large sections of the structure engulfed in flames. As the fire grew out of control, hundreds of firefighters from more than twenty-five fire departments were marshaled to fight the blaze.
An investigation into the fire by the St. Charles Police Department, the St. Charles Fire department, the State Fire Marshall; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that four juveniles allegedly entered the former resort. Once inside, two of the juveniles allegedly ignited papers on fire at two separate locations and then fled the scene without extinguishing the fire.
“For days, one hundred and seven firefighters from twenty-six fire departments put their lives in danger to control and ultimately extinguish a massive fire that heavily damaged the former Pheasant Run resort in St. Charles. It is alleged that the actions of these juveniles progressed from misdemeanor trespassing and vandalism to much more serious and potentially deadly felony criminal charges. Thankfully, no one sustained serious injury while battling the fire allegedly set in this case. The investigation into what happened at Pheasant Run was extremely thorough and I commend the St. Charles Police and Fire Departments along with the State Fire Marshall and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their painstaking and collaborative efforts which allowed us to file today’s charges. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Helen Kapas, Alyssa Rabulinski and Nick Catizone for their outstanding efforts the past two months on this case.” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement.
The charged juveniles appeared at a detention hearing on July 27 with their parents where Judge Anthony Coco ordered that the two charged with starting the fire be detained, while the other two be placed in the custody of their parents on home detention. The detained juveniles have each been charged with one count of Arson, one count of Burglary, one count of Criminal Damage to Property, and three counts of Criminal Trespass to a Building. The two boys placed in the custody of their parents have each been charged with two counts of Criminal Trespass to a Building. The boys range in age from fourteen to seventeen years old.